One of the interesting aspects of dining in Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay is that the hotel’s enormous reception area has now been redeveloped into two new venues – a modern Australian restaurant Silvesters and a laneway bar Three Bottle Man.
The menu in Silvester’s is the brainchild of French-born head chef Raphael Szurek, who began his career in Paris before working across Asia. This international influence is evident as well as the focus on Australian produce. Hervey Bay Scallops ($20), for example, are laid on top of black pudding, cauliflower puree, and finished in Japanese Yuzu Kosho dressing and seaweed crisps. The recommendation from staff is to combine all ingredients and eat them in one mouthful in order to maximise the pleasure from the contrasting flavours and textures.
In addition to the standard menu, a small selection of entrees and mains are also available from the daily special menu. King Fish Ceviche ($20) is marinated in lime juice for precisely 10 minutes and dressed with slithers of Asian water apple. The acidity in the citrus cooks the fish through and brings out the tenderness and sweetness in the fish.
Silvester’s takes its name from the ‘Silvester Brothers’, two of the city’s earliest butchers who once owned the space that the restaurant now occupies so it only seemed appropriate to explore the meat on offer. Wagyu Short Rib ($40) has a marbling score of +5 (in reality a +8 due to the nature of the cut) and the marbling can be seen in each piece. It dissolves the second you put it on your tongue, melting away to just leave the beautifully tender meat to savour.
Riverina District Lamb Rack ($38) is cooked medium to rare. The succulent, juicy pinkness of the meat is perfectly accompanied by a crunchy, buttery bread crisp, Swede and Sorrel leaves. What a better side dish to go with the lamb than Duck Fat Kipfler Potatoes ($10).
We finish with the ‘Winter Desert’ ($20), which would be just as good any time of the year. A truly original dish that features diverse flavours and textures including a refreshing blackcurrant sorbet, a crispy and light meringue and a strip of Spanish ham. This creation is topped with a dusting of chocolate powder and, strikingly, a piece of fried spaghetti. The saltiness of the meat contrasts with the sweetness of the sorbet and chocolate with the meringue bringing a satisfying crunch to the party.
A fine dining experience is not complete without a similarly fine cocktail. Just footsteps away from Silvester’s, the Three Bottle Man is exactly where we can quench our thirst without leaving the hotel lobby. As suggested by the name, the bar is based around the theme that the best things come in threes. A rotating menu features three cocktails, three red wines, three whites… you get the idea. No need to leaf through pages of a cocktails here – you’re safe in the hands of the staff and their carefully curated drinks list.
We opted for the ‘Matcha’ing Spices’, a rum based cocktail with herbal liquor, Matcha and ginger, and the ‘Ginstify My Love’ which is made with bitter orange, honey water, blood orange and lemon (both $20). The bar manager assured us that we would be ready to party after a few of them but we were quite content to take our time savouring the creations before taking our leave.
The Marriott have stepped things up a notch with the introduction of these two high-class venues and they are sure to be a feature of the developing Circular Quay scene for many years to come.
1 Bulletin Place, Circular Quay, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9259 7330