03 Oct 12 – If you’ve grown up in Sydney, you’d remember walking past the Gowings building on George Street. The store that always had the grey trackies, a Hawaiian style t-shirt for the office Christmas party, and a tent for the weekend camping trip. It was a time warp type store and it was iconic, until it went into receivership a few years ago. The tents and trackies are gone now, but the heritage exterior maintained and the interiors replaced by a shiny, quirky, retro-ish, eclectic mixture of places – a coffee shop, a couple of bars, the grill, and a 200 room hotel. Not sure if it’s a coincidence, but they paid $69 million for the building, and spent another $69 million doing it up….or maybe that just sounded good for the press. If you don’t go to eat or drink, go to look around – Robert, love what you’ve done with the place. We ran out of time but they offered to give us a sneak peak of the hotel rooms, all of which aren’t open yet. http://www.qtsydney.com.au/food-drink/gowings-bar-grill/
As for the Bar & Grill, there were problems from the start. The first problem was that I wanted to order pretty much everything on the menu – it really all sounded good. Eventually I ‘settled’ on the Marinade of Blue Eye. Now sorry to sound like your nearest teenager, but Oh-Em-Gee. Divinely fresh and flavoursome. Then onto the half duck from the woodfired rotisserie, beautifully tender, on a bed of low fat Paris mash. I also sampled a companion’s quail – plump, moist and plain delicious. And if you go on a Friday there is a roast suckling pig (Lunch Only!). Then came the second problem – with the generous portions, I was too full for dessert, and I really wanted to try that zabaglione – oh well, I’ll just have to come back. And the acoustics were decent, we could actually hear each other talk.
Pricing is a little punchy so its not going to become the new local (even a main course salad is $35), but for the right occasion it merits a visit. There’s also clearly been some bulk deal done on menu styling in Sydney – it’s the same style as the Morrison which is the same style as Felix – the whole ‘French bistro menu look’ – but in Bar & Grill’s case its backed by a colourful, playful board.
You can also do a spot of shopping on your way out and pick up some catwalk knock offs at reasonable prices – Top Shop opens on the ground floor tomorrow!
Enjoy the rest of the (wonderfully short) week