Despite riding up in the lift with a Leeloo lookalike, bumping into Curtis Stone in the hip QT lobby, then hearing that Luke Mangan frequents the bar for Chardonnay; I found this restaurant surprisingly approachable. Restaurant Manager Marie Gallien explained, that while her striking floor staff do have their hair and makeup done (down to a particular shade of lipstick), it’s frequented by a diverse range of people. A casually dressed woman, relaxing with just a novel and classic Prawn Cocktail ($18) for companionship, proved her point nicely. With the lively sound of the upstairs function space, and the clanks and sizzle from Executive Chef Paul Easson’s open kitchen, you’re unlikely to feel lonely if you pop in for flavoursome Hot Spanner Crab Cakes ($19) or perfectly-handled Darling Downs Black Angus Rib Eye ($48/350g). Ours arrived well-rested and sliced for sharing, with a performative array of condiments on the side. Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18) is marvellously simple, whilst a pair of Whole Roasted Quails ($38) partially deboned, prove indulgent – stuffed with smoked ham, sage, malt, Parmesan and barley bread, then drizzled with quail jus. Sides will be necessary; and so is dessert – so arrive hungry, lest you miss the visibly pink pleasure of a layered verrine of Berry Mousse ($15).
Gowings Bar & Grill
Level 1, 49 Market Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 8262 0062 qtsydney.com.au
Modern Australian $$$$