If you haven’t been to Sydney you might imagine the famous harbour in one image, a shimmering blue expanse that always includes the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. If you’re a local, you’ll know there are pockets that are less grandiose but no less enjoyable.
If you can, always opt for a table by the water at The Gantry, the restaurant in Pier One Hotel – although an inside seat isn’t disappointing. The dark timber, misshapen wooden light fittings, extensive wine displays and aqua finishes in the cushions and crockery give you enough to look at.
There are multiple menus to pick from – whether you need to fit in a meal before a show or are there to settle in (it has one of the few vegetarian degustations in Sydney, too).
All dishes on chef Joel Bickford’s (ex-Biota Dining) menus are listed only by their prime ingredients, such as “WA yabbies – onions – XO – curd” or “snapper – corn sprouts – mushroom – leek – samphire”, so the format the artistic arrangements arrive in is always surprising. Also surprising is the way it comes together. In each dish there’s something unexpected – chamomile with carrots, or veal with raw scallops.
Cocktails make good use of seasonal fruits and native herbs. The wine list is well priced and ripe for exploration.