Beneath St Georges Terrace is Lalla Rookh, a bar and restaurant that provides relief from the rat race above with its wonderful spaces.
The buzzing public bar, the European-style alfresco courtyard and the plush lounge each bring something to the table. But what you’re here for is the dining room’s food.
Head chef Alexandra Haynes takes a bowerbird approach to Italian cooking and combines flavours and influences from the country's north to its south, so heirloom beetroots and goats curd makes for a summery, Mediterranean-influenced salad while a robust smoked pork neck and radicchio salad ticks the box for gutsier eating. The house-made pasta remains rock solid. There’s plenty to choose from, although the six-course Il Capo menu is on hand for the decision-phobic.
Sommeliers Jeremy Prus and Sarah Atkinson oversee the list of more than 300 boutique Australian and Italian wines: some you’ll know, and some you’ll want to know better. Beer and cider lovers are well catered for, too. Lalla Rookh has 38 taps complemented by a rotating selection of guest brews.