If I mention sliding into a padded white booth, you’re going to think I’ve cracked. To be honest, I wondered a bit myself when I found myself in this fancy-pants French restaurant, decked out with crimson screens and fringed lamps, set above The Union Hotel. Strap yourself into your train-car style booth for a wild ride. Head Chef Ronny Ghantous offers up all the touches of a fine diner – from amuse bouche to a beautifully cooked signature Bouillabaisse ($40) – with a little left-of-centre thrown in. His Shaved Foie Gras ($18) with apple, hazelnuts, honeycomb and blood orange, eats just like our waitress described: “a creamy salad – sounds awful but it’s awesome!” Accompany it with a friendly, well-priced 2010 Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc ($39/bottle). Manager/Sommelier Gonzalo Burgos is still putting his spin on the drinks, adding thrice-blanched peel to the signature St Germaine Cocktail ($16) and tweaking the existing wine list. Hit him up for a red, like the 2008 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey ($85), to accentuate your pasture-fed 250g 7+ Wagyu Skirt ($35). It arrives with the best (truffled) trio of chips I’ve had all year! Consider leaving some room for chef’s playfully deconstructed Coconut Cheesecake ($16) served with Milo soil; it sent me off with a smile.
271 Pacific Highway (Cnr West St), North Sydney
Ph: (02) 8267 9958 www.unionhotel.com.au/uncorked
Modern French $$$$