Diving into an established all-male Italian kitchen as the new head chef could be daunting (especially as a half-English, half-Welsh woman) but Naomi Lowry has taken it in her stride. She’s maintained the menu’s confident Southern Italian focus, notching it up with Sardinian Fregola ($27/$35) resplendent with perfectly cooked cuttlefish, calamari, prawns and mussels, and topped with a generous helping of bottarga.
Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers.
William Blue Dining
If meals at most fine dining restaurants seem too expensive, I’ve found the fancy, white-tablecloth restaurant for you! William Blue Dining is located in the old Rockpool site, yet despite the fancy, heritage, sandstone location, a three-course meal is yours for fewer than forty bucks.
Food News – Abhi’s Turns 25
Chef Kumar Mahadevan uses beautiful mandarin skin and fruit in his Salmon Kothmiri Tikki. The bold, acidic sauce also employs spicy tamarind but somehow leaves a hole big enough to taste the gently cooked (sous-vide) fish. It’s but one masterpiece presented at a series of 25th Anniversary Dinners held last month at Abhi’s in North Strathfield.
Busshari staff are particularly proud of their Soft Shell Crab Karaage ($18) making it into the Daily Telegraph’s list of the top hundred Sydney dishes last year. For good reason, too, it’s dry and intensely savoury. It’s perfect against Kubota Manju ($33/180ml); dubbed ‘10,000 Ostentatiousness’ it’s the star of their impressive sake list.
Bar Fly: The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room
If you'd have asked me 24 hours ago how I felt about oysters, I would have probably made a comment about them being glorified sea boogers, but a preview evening at The Morrison's Oyster Festival forced me out of my ignorant shell and made me see these flawless little pearlers in a new light.
Food News – New Dining Options
Despite the colder weather inclining us to stay indoors, Sydney’s restaurateurs have been busy diversifying our dining options this winter. I recently popped into Walsh Bay’s Lotus Dumpling Bar for a steamer basket of prawn dumplings and scallop shumai, only to hear they’re kicking things up to the next level with Lotus Galeries opening this month in the heart of the CBD.