It’s a light-filled and classy space with three open, tiered levels, and lots of corporate diners along with an array of ladies who lunch. Bistro Fax is also the venue for hotel guests’ breakfasts, evidenced by a closed buffet area with bain maries and other stainless steel vessels. Seated at the top tier of the dining area, one gets a slightly obstructed view of the glassed-in kitchen and chefs at work.
|Oil for bread at Bistro Fax, Radisson Plaza Hotel,|
O'Connell Street, Sydney
|Pouring oil for the bread|
Entrées were an interesting assortment of proteins with a few vegetarian options and oysters; the latter very tempting if not for the fear of potential aphrodisiacal effects upon my return to work after lunch. There were also pasta and risotto options which sat between entrées and mains, so I’m not quite sure which size category they’d fall into.
|Thyme roasted quail breast with sweet French shallot tart|
For something light, I thought the quail entree was appropriate for me given the size of a quail breast. It came with a scotch quail egg and the French shallot tart completely obscured by a salad garnish of radish slices, frisée and other mixed leaves.
The cute, square, short-crusted tart was oddly served cold, which sadly impacted the satisfaction from the eggy, caramelised French shallot filling. The panko crumb crusted quail egg was lukewarm, but playfully crunchy and creamy at once with its nearly set yolk.
The quail was delightful; dressed in a herb oil and not served cold. The four small sections of breast were delicately cooked through, maintaining a juicy bite and more flavour than I thought the little bird could carry; possibly helped by the fact that I adore thyme.
|Roasted duck breast with frisee and walnut muscatel dressing|
|Roasted barramundi with cauliflower puree, peas and scallop|
They joined a pile on the side of my plate with the shallots (personal dislike), the inedible outers of sugar snap peas, the crispened yet chewy barramundi skin and most of the cauliflower puree – the latter of which was so overpowered by some ingredient addition (parmesan cheese?) that it no longer tasted like cauliflower.
Thus, the peas were eaten out of their pods with the gorgeous fresh shitake mushrooms and the skinless fish fillet, which was lovely and cooked to a beautifully smooth texture. More of the jus would have been appreciated to flavour the fish, as too another scallop or four – but maybe I’m just being greedy. The scallop was golden brown on one side, but still a little overcooked for my liking (which is to a nearly cooked – but not – state).
|Ox cheek braised in red wine with baby carrots|
|Rocket, pear and walnut salad|
And with a few unfinished dishes sprawled on the table, it quickly turned into one of those long lunches. These hotel restaurants, with their fancy interiors, white tablecloths, young staff, safe menus and fancy wine lists; it’s just a fact that they cater to high end tourists and the corporate market, which is a little unfortunate but probably necessary in this current day and age.