The Dining Room at Park Hyatt is a vastly underrated dining experience. With a dazzling view of the Sydney Opera House, a fine meal, and a glass of wine in hand, The Dining Room is hitting all the right marks.
You’ll get bang for your buck, especially for lunch when it’s $39, $59, or $69 for 1, 2 or 3 courses respectively (and on a weekday it includes a glass of wine – bargain!). We’re suckers for good value so it’s only natural that we go down the 3-course route.
Fresh, green, and light, the green pea and mint gazpacho is poured over the Jannei goats cheese, almonds, and grapefruit at the table, forming a vibrant pond of cold, salty, nutty, citrusy highlights. I’m keen on how lively this tastes. And it’s the perfect pick on a hot day.
While I’m making my way through the gazpacho, Eric takes on the kangaroo tartare with dashi, pear, beetroot, crisp lotus, and toasted sesame. A great balance of flavors are on the plate – let’s be honest, anything containing dashi is a godsend. It’s like the bacon of Japanese cuisine (or fine dining) – everything pretty much doubles in deliciousness if it’s got dashi.
My main is a picture-perfect red snapper with white and green silverbeet, and korubuta chorizo. It’s a huge serving, so huge that I don’t finish it (to leave room for dessert – der!). It’s a beautifully delicate piece of fish, contrasted by the savoriness of chorizo. The fish is served with a separate bowl of piment d’espelette ice cream with a scattering of chorizo bits underneath (if I’m not mistaken). Espelette is a type of chilli from France. Spicy and peppery, it’s an intriguing match. Flavor wise I’m hooked, but I’m not too sure I get the contrast of the cold ice cream with the warm fish dish.
The Wild Clover lamb loin, green and yellow zucchini flowers, spring onion, and fresh herbs is tasty as hell. The zucchini flowers (which are stuffed, by the way – yerms!) and a fantastic jus bring it all home.
We order the Dutch cream pomme purée as a side (which isn’t included in the cost of the 3-course menu, so that’s an extra tenner) because potatoes are the cream of my carb crop.
Come dessert, I’m in love with my strawberry tart. It’s dangerously delicious. Super thin pastry at the bottom, dotted with soft marshmallow, pistachio chibouste, and strawberry coulis, this is a flawless, polished dessert in my view. It’s not sickly sweet, and the accompanying strawberry sorbet is peppy and tangy.
Eric and I can always guess what the other is going to be ordering, and we almost always get it right. The general rule of thumb is something vegetarian or pescatarian for me, then a fruity number for dessert; for Eric it’s anything with red meat or duck for the savories and a chocolaty dessert. So it’s no surprise that he goes for the Valhrona caraibe 66% eclair filled with chocolate & virgin olive oil creme patissiere, and served with cacao sorbet. The choux pastry a bit too squishy for my liking, but the pairing of chocolate and olive oil is a great one.
With $10 extra for the mash and both of us ordering another glass of wine (Eric gets a glass of Chateau D’Esclans rose for $15 and I ask for a dessert wine pairing for my strawberry tart: Kracher Beerenauslese $17), the final bill comes to a very reasonable $180 for 2 people before tipping. For a solid fine dining meal, that’s value for money in my books.
The Dining Room
Park Hyatt Sydney
7 Hickson Road The Rocks Sydney NSW 2000
Breakfast Mon to Fri 6.30am to 10.30am, Sat and Sun 6.30am to 11am
Lunch Mon to Fri 12noon to 2.30pm, Sat and Sun 12.30pm to 3pm
Dinner daily 6pm to 10pm