Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers. What you might not expect however, are enough seasonal, well-handled proteins – including moist, crisp-skinned Cone Bay Barramundi ($32) on a heaving plate of crabmeat risotto – to make it attractive to locals. You’ll find the occasional spark of interest – like Salt Baked Celeriac ($18) with toasted hazelnuts, sweet and sour dressing and house-made ricotta – but mostly it’s straight-up, honest cooking of dishes you’ll recognise. The standout Braised Short Rib ($30) with buttery mash and glazed carrots proves no exception. Hotel-style service means nothing is too much trouble, from how you want your premium Aussie beef (Tajima) cooked, to Sommelier Jasmin Leighton not even flinching when your only wine descriptors are white or red. Jasmin commands quite an interesting list, with by-the-glass selections like the Western Australian (Great Southern) 2013 Harewood Estate Chardonnay ($13) supplemented by Aussie benchmarks like the 2013 Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling ($52/bottle). Take it against chef’s ode to Rhubarb Four Ways ($15) – counting may not be his forte, but cooking sure is.
159 Day Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9260 2945 abodebistro.com
Modern Australian $$$