This chermoula grilled lamb cutlet is moorish with North African herbs and spices. Beautifully caramelized, it is tender and juicy with a blush of pink inside.
This hotel has gone through a recent refurbishment with intimate cocktail rooms and private dining facilities on its upper level.
On the ground floor, large overhead TV monitors are streaming cricket and Aussie rules at a duo-level al fresco dining area. Then, there is a menu with all your pub favourites to boot. And on a sunny day, diners bask in the sun while tucking into battered fish and chips, Moroccan chicken pizza, wagyu hamburgers and rib eye steaks.
So with a kind invitation from Sweaty Betty PR, I am here at Hunters Hill Hotel with the Monk to sample the menu of Executive Chef Matt Graham.
Hunters Hill Hotel, Hunters Hill
On a glorious Friday afternoon, the al fresco dining area is sun-soaked and I spy promotional leaflets for a cracker of a Melbourne Cup Day next week.
It’s noon and the lunch crowd is beginning to gather.
Chef’s charcuterie platter
Grilled Italian baguette, olives, fetta, crumbed parmesan on asparagus speers and cured meat make up a chef’s charcuterie platter.
Charcuterie is my kind of nibblies because it is a creative palette for the chef. It usually delivers and this one certainly does, whether it is with a glass of red, white, pink or bubbly.
It’s unusual because the copper pink on a 2014 Tar & Roses Pinot Gris is almost like a rosé.
Aromas are fruity with pear and lychee notes. Medium-bodied and crisp on the palate, it has a clean and dry finish.
An icy cold Asahi Super Dry on a warm and sunny day is always cool and refreshing.
A beer tasting paddle showcases Ruby Tuesday (Amber Ale), Little Ripper (Sparkling Lager), White Rabbit (Pale Ale).
My favourite is the White Rabbit with its hint of orange and slight bitter finish.
Chermoula grilled lamb cutlets
A trio of Chermoula grilled lamb cutlets garnished with micro herbs sits on green mango salad with chilli jam and crunchy peanuts.
This chermoula grilled lamb cutlet is moorish with North African herbs and spices. Beautifully caramelized, it is tender and juicy with a blush of pink inside. A tangy Thai-inspired salad brings it back to South East Asia.
A barramundi fillet is succulent though texture can be firmer and the skin more crisp. An Asian-inspired baby bok choy, bean sprouts and coriander in soy dressing spells raw freshness but taste-wise, it’s a little awkward with Western style roasted sweet potato chips.
Personally, I find the pointy corners of square dinner plates a little cumbersome if served as an individual main.
Still, my favourite barramundi is one that hails from Cone Bay off the coast of Western Australia. For me, this remains the benchmark for a great Australian fish.
Nolans private selection rib eye on the bone
Nolans private selection rib eye on the bone is 400 gram and 150-day grain fed that comes with golden brown onion rings, chips and a mesclun salad.
There’s a choice of mushroom, pepper, dianne, traditional gravy, aioli, pirri pirri and bernaise sauce.
Charred aromas are smoky and a pinch of salt and black pepper brings beefy flavours to the fore.
Golden brown potato chips and onion rings are crisp while the generous bowl of mesclun salad with baby spinach leaves, cherry tomato, avocado, onions and lettuce make me feel less guilty as I tuck into this succulent piece of meat.
The tag team of Carly Summerson at Front of House and Executive Chef Matt Graham has been working together for four years at Hunters Hill Hotel.
This duo has been nominated as finalists for Industry Rising Star and Chef of the Year respectively in the 2014 Australian Hotels Association NSW Awards for Excellence. Not to be outdone, the Hunters Hill Hotel has also been nominated as a finalist in a string of categories including Best Cocktail Bar and Best Burger.
So dear readers, which is your favourite hotel restaurant in Sydney and why?
ChopinandMysaucepan dined courtesy of Sweaty Betty PR and Hunters Hill Hotel. All prices are for readers’ information. All views and opinions are our own.
Hunters Hill Hotel
64 Gladesville road
Hunters Hill, New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 9817 2188
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am to 12am (Kitchen from 12pm), Saturday – Sunday 8am – 10pm (Kitchen from 8am)