Level 3, Sofitel Sydney, 12 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour
Modern Australian dining overlooking Sydney harbour
While hotel in-house dining in Australia can be standard fare, there is something to be said about a hotel that offers an excellent restaurant experience.
The newest jewel in the crown, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, sits in a prime location, overlooking the glistening waters of the harbour below, with a restaurant to match. Tucked away on the third floor of this state of the art hotel, the restaurant is French-inspired, bringing together the flavours from the South of France with locally sourced produce available in and around Sydney.
Heading the team at Atelier is Director of Food and Beverage, Nicolas Mercier, whose team has followed his direction to draw on the traditions, flavours and techniques associated with the historical cuisine of the South of France. Rather than emulating these to create heavy, classically French dishes, they have created a menu that gives these traditions a modern twist. Expect Atelier’s take on French favourites to be refreshed and modern, such as a raw version of Marseille’s famous Bouillabaisse and an impressive Charcoal Grilled Beef Rib-eye, topped with Cafe de Paris butter.
Keeping in line with the high-quality local produce that drives the menu, all dishes are seasonal, and diners will find that the menu will alter depending on availability and the quality of certain ingredients. However, this also means that you will have the opportunity to taste a wealth of artfully designed dishes. Nicolas looks to both Australia and France to inspire every dish, celebrating both the produce and the traditional techniques that have gone into their preparation.
The setting of Atelier is perhaps its most spectacular point. With a view that captures so much of Sydney’s iconic skyline, the backdrop only enhances the entire experience. Inside the restaurant, the opulence continues. The enormous dining room features three separate kitchens, a grill, a raw bar and the usual hot kitchen, and a beautifully rustic, yet modern, design.
If you find yourself early for dinner or perhaps not quite ready to finish, then the Sofitel has you covered with three separate bars that extend the Atelier offering. Le Rivage Pool Bar sits on the roof, Esprit Noir in the lobby, and just off the main restaurant lies Sydney’s only Champagne Bar. With an 800-bottle wine and champagne wall, this bar feeds the impressive wine lists found in the Atelier dining room, as well as an impressive range of local and international drops to be tasted in the bar.
No one does good old-fashioned hotel service like the French and at Sofitel’s Atelier, the tradition is not broken. No element is left untouched and the entire experience could easily sweep you away to France if that incredible view across the city wasn’t catching your eye at every opportunity.
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