It’s always a site to behold: watching the Australian summer sky slowly change from the brightest blue hues to a watercolour blur of pinks and oranges. When it’s juxtaposed against the white peaks of the architectural wonder that is the Sydney Opera House, it’s even more special.
Things are turned up another notch when, while watching this spectacular sky show, you’re being fed a delicious feast of carefully curated dishes at The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney’s signature restaurant.
Located right on the harbour front in The Rocks, this dining location boasts some of the most incredible water views that the city has to offer. And thanks to the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, you can watch ferries journey in and out of the harbour and yachts sail by while you dine.
If you’re lucky enough to secure a seat during Vivid Sydney in May or June, you’ll no doubt have the best seat in the house for the colourful light show that’s projected onto the iconic Opera House each year.
The Dining Room offers fine dining in a casual and relaxed setting. The menu, created by Executive Chef Etienne Karner, is a nod to his European background (he was born in Germany and has significant experience working in France) with Australian-sourced and sustainable ingredients used where possible. Karner is passionate about keeping things simple to let the ingredients shine through, with inspiration taken from the harbourside location.
Karner began his career as a chef in Paris and has worked in the US, the Caribbean, Ireland and Australia. He’s been with Park Hyatt for some time now, initially leading the kitchen team in Goa, India. His most recent appointment before joining Park Hyatt Sydney was as the Executive Sous Chef for Park Hyatt Dubai.
Most of the menu at The Dining Room is designed to be shared. If you’re too fixated by the view to choose which dishes to order, you can let the chefs do the decision-making for you with the ‘Feed Me’ option.
Karner and his talented team will bring their favourite dishes of the day to the table, leaving you to enjoy four or six courses of deliciousness without a second thought.
If dining in the warmer months of the year, oysters are often chosen as the perfect place to begin. Their oceanic flavours are accentuated when served with a salty seaweed salad, or perhaps the fresh and citrusy kaffir lime dressing is more to your liking.
You’ll hope the hand-cut Darling River kangaroo tartare makes an appearance; it’s the restaurant’s signature dish and doesn’t disappoint. Served with quail egg, truffle mayonnaise, crunchy radish and sesame crisps, it’s a textural delight that’s bursting with flavour.
You’ll hope the hand-cut Darling River kangaroo tartare makes an appearance; it’s restaurant’s signature dish and doesn’t disappoint.
Another cold-dish highlight is the cow’s milk burrata. As you burst into the silky cheese pillow with the point of your knife, it oozes in the bowl to mix with the crispy dried olives and the sweet confit fennel it’s served with.
Other options that might appear throughout the dining experience include the utterly tender 10-hour slow-cooked octopus drizzled with generous lashings of olive oil, or the lightly torched prawn with sweet lime maltose. Bigger dishes include poached King trout with a sweet carrot and olive oil emulsion, zesty Muscovy duck breast à l’orange, and perfectly cooked Mirrool Creek lamb rump.
You won’t have room for dessert but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. The creations concocted by Pastry Chef Shlomi Palensya are fully worth the effort.
For something fresh and fruity, the pina colada is a top pick. Pronounced flavours of creamy coconut and sweet pineapple are combined with hints of lime to create a real treat for the tastebuds.
Or, for the chocolate lovers, the Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut tart is silky with the deepest taste of cocoa. It comes served with a quenelle of Grand Marnier sorbet to cut through the richness.
The Dining Room’s decor is understated, with muted, neutral-hued tones, clean lines and elegant finishes. It doesn’t distract from the true star of the show – the breathtaking Sydney Harbour view, which is perfectly complemented by the delightful seasonal menu that leaves you both satisfied and wanting more.
Learn about the ‘art of lunch’ at Sydney restaurant Fujisaki.