From the moment you slide into your stylish but comfortable Autoban chair in this relaxed-looking dining room, it’s evident you’re in for a seamless experience. The rounded edges of the chairs echo the Deco lines of the building, and the service is equally free of sharp bumps. Having had his fill of Sydney toques already, Chef Ross Lusted has returned to the charcoal grilling of his South African youth, simply because it tastes good. Now that’s not to say dishes like Moreton Bay Bugs, Sweet Grilled Endive, Tamarind and Roasted Chilli Paste ($35) lack complexity; rather it’s that Lusted makes them look like remarkably simple packages. While he employs a global palate of flavours, honed during his Amanresorts days, local produce sings across the menu, starting with Natural Oysters ($4.50/each) with white miso dressing and chives. Move on to a pretty plate of hand-picked Spanner Crab ($33) with mandarin, Meyer lemon curd, chestnuts and nashi pear, before standout mains like the Japanese-inspired Ocean Trout with Silken Eggplant, Sesame and Puffed Rice ($45) lubricated with a roasted tea broth. Your must-have dessert is the Burnt Caramel Cream ($16) – a re-imagined crème brûlée juxtaposed against mint and juicy Packham pear, presented in ceramics designed by Lusted himself. It’s perfect against the 2012 Peregrine Charcoal Creek Riesling ($14/glass).
The Bridge Room
Ground Level, 44 Bridge Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9247 7000 thebridgeroom.com.au
Modern Australian $$$$