Well..another day, another business lunch..but today is a nice treat..we are heading to the Arthouse Hotel Sydney. It was a rainy day, the downpour happened to increase as we ran down Pitt street to find the Restaurant. Neither of us being there before, we were meeting a client for a quick lunch. At 275 Pitt, we were surprised to realise that we had walked past it many times before, but never noticed the facade.
As the name suggests, the Arthouse Hotel actually occupies the old Sydney Art School building. The building is interesting for its old time charm, with fabulous old architectural details, fused with a modern bent. Two bright young things in high heels (how do they do they stand all day smiling in those things?) welcomed us at the door and directed us up the grand staircase to the Dome Restaurant. We did a quick look around the ground floor before we went up as there more than one intersting looking bars downstairs that have character and style, serving both food and cocktails. Your eye is drawn to the Art on each wall, some of the pieces are huge and spectacular.
Back to the Dome...we were seated on the plush chairs to admire the art and atmosphere..cool jazz playing in the background, to wait for our client. The attentive staff were easy going and informed - a nice combination. Our guest arrived, we were seated and the feast began. We were on a timelimit so main courses were ordered and we skipped dessert..pity as it looked sensational. Perhaps I might need another visit for recreation rather than work?
My vague eating out policy is to order something I wouldn't cook at home so I had the Five spiced duckling with snow pea salad and orange confit. SENSATIONAL, little bony thighs of duck, fried crispily to perfection. A touch of chilli and spice, the popping sensation when entering the mouth was to die for. My colleagues ordered Grilled Atlantic Salmon fillet with crispy pancetta and peppercorns, and Grilled Sirloin steak with fondant potato and eschallots bearnaise respectively. All were convesation stoppers .... read... happy quiet eating! And as mentined in previous blogs...I am fond of talking so it takes a lot to stop it! All were good sized servings, but at around $30 a main, I should hope so too! we had an interesting salad of danish fetta, tomato and rocket as accompaniement which added another interesting element to the meal. Crusty bread with olive oil, salt and pepper..and we were done.
Even being a work lunch, it was possible to take the time to enjoy the atmosphere. The Jazz set the scene, the padded panels on the walls all housed original artworks for sale. Each being interesting and different, and perhaps affordable depending on your fiscal position! The colours were a calming and cuckolding chocolate, making you immediately at ease. Above was a lovely stained glass dome which made me imagine a nude posing on a podium for art students many years before. Sometimes interesting places like this can be too showy where it is more about how you look than what is on your plate. I think this had a nice balance of atmosphere, good food, not exhorbitantly exxy...I thoroughly enjoyed the experienc and would welcome a return visit.