Category Archives: The Rocks

An indulgent treat, The Dining Room at Park Hyatt Sydney

After a $65 million revamp, the newly redesigned Park Hyatt Sydney brings a new level of contemporary luxury to the edge of Sydney Harbour. From the hotel’s penthouse suite to the lobby below, the new Park Hyatt Sydney epitomises opulence and luxury. Perhaps a weekend away in their Rooftop Suite is out of the option? Don’t worry. Instead, book a table at the Park Hyatt’s signature restaurant, The Dining Room, and experience an indulgent treat.

Views rarely get better than this

At the heart of the Park Hyatt’s revamp is The Dining Room. Formerly Harbourkitchen&bar, the new restaurant has been transformed in keeping with the hotel’s new residential styling and direction. Taking full advantage of its coveted harbour front position, the simple and elegant interior of The Dining Room boasts four-metre-high floor-to-ceiling windows. Perfect for impressing visitors to Australia, diners can wine and dine while looking directly across Sydney Harbour to the Opera House. And unlike many waterfront restaurants, The Dining Room is equally impressive at night – with the Opera House lights illuminating the water below.

Tamarind and molasses glazed Blackmore Wagyu beef brisket, beetroot and horseradish

The view however is not the only draw card of The Dining Room. When the Executive Chef of a restaurant can rattle off New York’s Daniel, Tokyo’s New York Grill, Beijing’s Aria Restaurant, Paris’ Three Michelin-star Pavillion de Ledoyen and Melbourne’s Vue de Monde, as just a few of the restaurants he has worked, guests are sure to be impressed. Under the relentless guidance of Executive Chef Andrew McKee, the menu showcases seasonal, organic and free-range Australian produce. Working directly with local suppliers, Chef McKee’s menu features David Blackmore’s Wagyu beef, Murrayland lamb and Sydney rock oysters. One of his signature dishes, Charcoal grilled Blackmore Wagyu beef and celeriac rémoulade cannot be described as anything less than sublime while the dessert menu, featuring dishes such as hazelnut dacquoise and caramel mille-feuille with praline, give new meaning to the word indulgence.

An experience at the Park Hyatt Sydney’s The Dining Room cannot be described as anything less than luxurious. However, luxury does not need to come with a hefty price tag: The Dining Room’s lunch menu offers one course for $39, two courses for $59 and three courses for $69, and includes a glass of wine selected by the sommelier.

Anna Lisle

Harbour Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Read more about The Dining Room here

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Filed under Reviews, The Dining Room, The Rocks

Restaurant Review: Saké Restaurant & Bar

In 2009, Terry Durack reviewed Saké Restaurant & Bar, saying: “we now have our Nobu Sydney, only better”. Three years down the track, we have Nobu Perth and a mass of other big Japanese restaurant, which leads us to ask, is Saké Restaurant & Bar still that good?

If you go by the fact that it has retained a Chef Hat every year since its opening, then yes. But is the ‘Hat Criteria’ what everyone still desires of their dining experience? The recent shift towards more casual and accessible bistro-style restaurants suggests otherwise. We decided to head to the historic Rocks to find out what Saké Restaurant & Bar offers in 2012.

The sleek interior

At the heart of Saké Restaurant & Bar is Executive Chef Shaun Presland, so a review would not be complete without a brief look at his career. A proud Queenslander, Shaun is now one of Australia’s pre-eminent chefs of Japanese cuisine. His career began in a Ryokan in the mountains of central Japan, where he crafted the skills of the traditional local cuisine. Returning to Australia, he joined the Merivale clan, setting up Sushi-e and later, Ivy Teppanyaki and Sushi Choo. He then headed to the Bahamas where he became executive sous-chef at one of the famous Nobu restaurants. Backed by the omnipotent The Bavarian Hospitality Group (BHG), Saké Restaurant & Bar was born in 2009 with Shaun as Executive Chef. 12 months later, the Sydney Saké was awarded a Chef’s Hat and Brisbane became the home for another Saké restaurant. The evolution of Saké is the ultimate restaurant success story.

Chef Shaun Presland and Chef Shinichi Maeda (from Saké Restaurant & Bar Brisbane)

If you want a traditional sushi bar, then Saké Restaurant & Bar is not for you. It is sleek and modern – with chefs scuttling around wearing red-and-white chequered bandanas and a menu that features popcorn chicken. With various dining spaces – including four exclusive dining rooms, communal banquet tables, sushi bar seating and also a traditional Japanese sunken table – Saké Restaurant & Bar is adaptable and dynamic. The staff, while efficient, border on being overbearing and pretentious. However, the menu will exceed the expectations of even the most fastidious lover of Modern Japanese cuisine. The kingfish and salmon sushi cannot be faulted, the miso marinated butterfish lettuce cups offer a refreshing Japanese take on san choy bow while the teriyaki Wagyu 7+ skewers is beyond tender. The spicy eggplant kushiyaki isn’t memorable however the ‘S express’ sushi roll, filled with scallops, seared salmon and spicy mayo, is the pinnacle of my Saké Restaurant & Bar appreciation.

Anna Lisle

Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Read more about Saké Restaurant & Bar here

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Filed under Saké Restaurant & Bar, The Rocks, Uncategorized