The Gantry is a relatively recent and glamorous addition to the Pier One Sydney Harbour hotel on the Walsh Bay side of the Rocks.
If we were to reduce Pier One Sydney Harbour to an acronym it would most appropriately be POSH. Now a member of the decidedly upmarket Autograph Collection – a portfolio of exceptional hotels, POSH is more than just harbourside it is ‘over water’ with much of the public areas (and some suites) all perched over the Harbour.
We’ve written more than once about this amazing property: http://thismagnificentlife.com/its-all-about-the-viewsand-so-much-more/ and http://thismagnificentlife.com/escape-to-the-city-pier-one-sydney-harbour/ All that needs to be said is that now one of Sydney’s most luxurious boltholes has a restaurant to match – The Gantry.
Dimly lit does make for romance and candlelit moments with your special someone but it’s not ideal for reading menus or photographing food. It’s floor to ceiling glass here at The Gantry – so part of the entertainment is simply looking out over the inky waters of Walsh Bay and the twinkling lights that dot this western side of the harbor.
The Gantry is tables unclothed casual but in a sophisticated Industrial space that befits the location in Sydney’s historic wharves. (Hence the name). The dedicated seafood counter sits below a blackboard listing the growers, artisans and producers The Gantry relies on for the ‘fresh and foraged’ menu. Cooks Co-op, De Costi, Grumpy Baker, Epicurean Harvest, Andrews Meats and more.
Former Executive Chef Chris Irving fell in love with Australian produce and was keen to show it off to The Gantry’s diners. This is a menu that allows the protein to shine with well chosen vegetable and herb accompaniments.
The menu is divided into the Seafood Counter, Starters Mains, To Share and Sides. From the counter, Oysters (shallot and black pepper mignonette) and Prawns chilled with just lemon and nahm jim or with the traditional Marie Rose cocktail sauce. Moreton Bay Bugs are simply halved, grilled and anointed with garlic butter to highlight the crustacean’s sweetness.
From the Starters we can’t resist the Spanner Crab to share. Quenelles of delicate creamy crab are enlivened with a little chili and contrasted beautifully with the transparent slivers of radish and pear and dotted red vein sorrel. We also share a salad of Tarwin blue cheese, pear and walnut salad with a small mountain of sweet prosciutto, dressed perfectly. With a glass of NV Chandon Brut, life is good.
Everything is plated on large custom made ceramics or rustic wooden boards. The Mirrool Creek lamb chops (cutlets) are meltingly tender and simply served with artichoke, stinging nettle and smoky, charred cherry tomatoes. The Snowy Mountain duck is served pink with a glossy but not too sweet citrus glaze and Hawkesbury carrots and cabbage. The Barossa Massena Moonlight Run GSM works perfectly with both mains.
Dessert is not-too-be missed despite the belt loosening. The Reiby Farms apple parfait is a wonder of lightness; ephemeral on the tongue with a hint of coriander creaminess from the Pepe Saya mascarpone and the subtle chew of coconut. For those who don’t know what dessert is without chocolate, the Blackstar Valhrona tart is rich, dark and stippled with meringue and quince and a quenelle of vanilla ice cream.
The Gantry is a bar, restaurant, somewhere for 3 courses or just a single dish and glass of wine. This versatility (and outstanding food) sets it apart from the other ‘Sydney with a View’ restaurants. From start to finish The Gantry is splendid and luckily for you, just what you want it to be. http://www.thegantry.com.au