The Marriott’s new multi-million-dollar dining development is complete. The flagship is Silvester’s, a hall decorated with gold and leather, with a mission to serve only Australian produce. The man in charge is Raphael Szurek, a French chef. He’s a veteran of Marriott Hotels but is completely new to hospitality in Australia.
“I've worked in many Asian countries where it's tough to get supplies. Here I'm still thinking: ‘wow’. I have so many ideas,” says Szurek. Like many new modern-Australian restaurants, Szurek uses minimalist French-Japanese technique and ideas, but local, top quality products.
Silvester’s is an all-day venue. One dinner-menu option is simply Grima Brothers vegetables, a selection of whatever the south-Sydney farmers harvested that day. Berkshire pork from Byron Bay is served with carrots basted in Tasmanian miso. And Tasmanian saltbush lamb shoulder is confit and served whole. A nice homage to Szurek’s new surroundings comes in a textural “modern pavlova” made with white chocolate frozen by liquid nitrogen, meringue and berries.
The lunch offering is similar, but the breakfast menu features a few new ideas and a hotel buffet. The French toast with freeze-dried mandarin, crème fraîche and “tons of strawberries” will be an Instagram pick.
“Breakfast [is] focused on healthy options and fresh pastries. Whenever we run out we’ll go and bake a batch of something new,” Szurek says.
Marriott’s general restaurant manager, Jeremy Magan, has developed the drinks menu. “We'll have about 90 wines, about 70 per cent Australian,” he says. Beers, spirits and cocktails will, like the food, be focused on boutique suppliers.
The fit-out is far from the industrial, strip-everything-back look that has pervaded a lot of new openings. With high ceilings and different plates to match most dishes, this is much more glamorous. There are cooking stations in the middle of the enormous room. “The idea was to bring luxury to the restaurant but keep it casual as much as possible,” says Magan.
30 Pitt Street, Sydney
(02) 9259 7330
Daily 6.30am–11am, 12pm–3pm, 6pm–11pm