Elevated above the modern Hilton Hotel lobby is a glasshouse of gastronomic delights. The talents of chef Luke Mangan and New York designer Tony Chi combine to create Glass Brasserie, a modern Australian restaurant with dramatic 13-metre floor to ceiling glass walls that capture a view of the Queen Victoria Building.
It is Friday night and the restaurant is packed to capacity with city professionals having tapas with their cocktails and slicing into their hearty steaks from the grill and more substantial mains that can be shared. The menu caters to a wide range of tastes from tapas share plates ($7 to $22), entrees ($24 to $36), regular mains ($29 to $42) and mains to be shared ($95 to $120).
We decide to splurge on the pan fried goose foie gras, scallop, quince, hazelnuts and spiced bread, beautifully paired with caramelised quince and crunchy hazelnuts. Two slivers of toasted gingerbread are the perfect canvas for this velvety sweet delight.
The double baked gruyere souffle, roasted pear, witlof, walnut and beetroot salad is a perfect winter entree, with its creamy warm centre and golden brown crust. A side salad of beetroot and musclun mix provides a nice contrast.
As we wait for our mains, we gaze around the elegant dining room with a dramatic wall of wine and open kitchen at one end, plating desserts and cheese platters at another. The soft glow from the modern chandeliers above cast a gentle warmth on the glass facade.
An interesting main that stands out is the pheasant breast with mint farce, cromesquis of leg, celeriac puree, witlof, white asparagus, sprout leaves and date sauce, served on a round wooden board, the trendy presentation mode these days. At Glass Brasserie, it is served two ways - one stuffed with soft herbs and roasted and the other, minced and deep fried, all pulled together with a creamy garlic puree. We like the caramelised witlof and deep fried brussel sprouts, which give the dish a bitter-sweet edge.
There are two fish dishes and we opt for the steamed jewfish with scampi-stuffed zucchini flowers, garlic puree and mushrooms. The sauteed oyster mushrooms with mushroom cream give a nice touch but the flavour of the fish is a little muddy.
After seeing the bombe alaska challenge of MasterChef, we decide to take a trip down memory lane and order the coconut rhubarb and lime bombe Alaska and it turns out to be a great choice. The rhubarb sauce provide a great counterpoint to the rich and creamy coconut ice cream, given an aromatic twist with a few slivers of thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves.
The churros, orange marmalade and chocolate sauce is a little disappointing, lacking the characteristic crunch of the popular Spanish speciality but the selection of chocolate, marmalade and vanilla cream is a nice variation on a theme.
If desserts aren’t your perfect end to a meal, there’s a wonderful array of French, Italian, American and Australian cheeses, assembled into a cheese plate right before your eyes.
So, dear readers, do you have a favourite restaurant in a hotel?
Level 2, Hilton Hotel Sydney
488 George street,
Sydney, New South Wales
Tel: +612 9265 6040