If meals at most fine dining restaurants seem too expensive, I’ve found the fancy, white-tablecloth restaurant for you! William Blue Dining is located in the old Rockpool site, yet despite the fancy, heritage, sandstone location, a three-course meal is yours for fewer than forty bucks. You pay so little because your food is prepared and served by students – under the hawk-like eyes of well versed, industry professionals – from the William Blue College of Hospitality and Management. So you may have to have entertain some at-the-table-training, especially if you choose the well-priced, elegant 2008 Wiltinger Braune Kupp Kabinett Riesling Mosel ($68/bottle) with its cork-stopper. Bonus is you’ll also leave knowing you don’t put the corkscrew in the centre of the cork. Your meal is prepared using standout Aussie produce, from Pepe Saya butter to Alto olive oil, to pleasantly pink Milly Hill Lamb ($18) with saffron fondant potatoes, asparagus, pickled turnips and flavoursome jus. Kingfish Ceviche ($11) is nicely presented, retaining its delicate flavour against blue swimmer crab, coriander, mustard cress and lime. My crosshatched slab of Swordfish ($18) is cooked precisely as requested; and tarragon garlic butter makes Steamed Beans ($5) another success. In a fast-paced world this charming spot reminds you to slow down, be tolerant and gracious – a tasty antithesis to Abbott’s Australia.
William Blue Dining
107-109 George Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9492 3290 williambluedining.com
Modern Australian $$