Raw materials are a definite focus at the recently refurbished Pier One Sydney Harbour. Interior designers Bates Smart have done wonders with reclaimed timbers; creating a stylish maritime playground stretching from the brass-caged boating clubhouse bar to the nicely substantial dark wood dining room, including tables extending seamlessly onto the pier (if you dare). Inside the kitchen, Canadian Chef Chris Irving pays reverence to the bounty of our seas; though on a blustery evening it’s his handling of land critters that beckons. Venison Tartare ($20) is quickly eclipsed by Smoked Bone Marrow ($16); a brutally satisfying dish that gives Sydney’s smokers a new benchmark. Irving’s touch of the rustic continues into Beetroot Homefries ($8), salt-crusted slabs of earthy-sweet beetroot. They provide a good stick-to-your-ribs supplement to judiciously sized mains, from moist Cone Bay Barramundi ($33) to an ultra-pretty Jumjum Muscovy Duck ($36) with citrus glaze, carrots and purslane. Stay thematic with the distinctively Tumbarumba 2013 Even Keel Chardonnay ($78), or if the rain is lashing, send your waiter to the cocktail bar for a rum-based Stormriders ($19) using standout house-made ginger beer. End with the deceptively simple Fresh Austral Figs ($15), dessert elevated to near perfection using Riesling syrup, white chocolate mousse and roasted white chocolate crumble. Service while not polished, is certainly well intentioned.
The Gantry Restaurant & Bar
11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Ph: (02) 8298 9910 thegantry.com.au
Modern Australian, Seafood, Wine $$$$