I probably don’t venture into local five-star hotels to dine all that much, although Sydney’s Hilton probably started a real change in attitude. Kable’s Restaurant on the first floor of the Four Seasons overlooking the lobby feels like a hotel restaurant: plush but vivid carpets, relative dimness, big padded chairs, elevator music, and the quiet murmur of politely dining hotel guests or the chatter of business deals and networking over dinner.
|Olive bread from Kable’s Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel, George Street, Sydney|
From the bread basket, the house-made olive scroll was to die for, fashioned like a cinnamon scroll but filled with a tapenade-like mix of olives. The bread itself was soft and almost buttery, so I’d rather not know the nutritional information and just have another scroll, please.
|Cape seed roll and sourdough bread|
|Amuse bouche - zucchini soup with parmesan foam|
|Assiette of pork - braised pork cheek, crisp pig ear, pig's tail tortellini|
I was a little dubious of the pig’s ear (this was no beer) as I’ve generally steered away from the bits and bobs of animals. The ear was crisply and golden crumbed, and I probably shouldn’t have looked at the cross section of the ear before eating it. Layers, several of them, multicoloured, lay between the crumbed outer. The ear was probably best paired with the beetroot on the plate as the sweetness of the latter could cut through the unexpectedly gelatinous texture of the ear.
Lastly, the single tortellini (I don’t expect a great deal of filling from a tail) was probably the safest looking item on the assiette; a rich and pure filling of pork pulled off the tail in a pasta wrapper – quite moreish in fact.
|Eight treasures quail with black vinegar|
|Pan seared scallops, watercress, apple, raisin puree|
|Veal sweetbread, salsify, quail egg, hollandaise|
|Beef tenderloin, dauphine potato, Bordelaise sauce|
|John Dory fillet with crab and parsley risotto, scampi beignet|
The fillet of John Dory was pan fried to a golden outer plus crisp skin, but still moist inside, and sat atop a risotto that was much like a golf green. While I’m not sure I tasted any crab, the green-ness of the parsley certainly came through taste-wise in the risotto.
|Roasted vela cutlet with gratin potato, carrot and celery plus veal jus|
This rather large cutlet was paired with the best carrot side I’ve ever had – though you wouldn’t pick it from the menu description. Almost like minced carrot (not puree but not a dice either), combined with a touch of creaminess and chopped herbs, this is one sure way to get non-vegie lovers to eat their carrots. The gratin was somewhat under-seasoned, topped with a celery stalk which appeared to be broiled then roasted, maintaining its distinctive taste.
|Lamb three ways, fondant potato, garlic puree|
The dish came with two purees - one light coloured but strong in garlic, and the other a caramelised possibly garlic again or onion - as well as fresh artichoke and a decadently buttery fondant potato cylinder; although my favourite would had to have been the fresh, braised shitake (I think) mushrooms hiding beneath the cutlet stack, firm with a bit a chew and an unexpected star of the dish really.
While service was mostly fabulous after a splotchy beginning, I couldn’t quite shake the hotel tie-up with the restaurant – which was particularly depressing when leaving and realising that I wouldn’t be retiring to a five-star suite. But with the quality of food from the kitchen of quite newly-appointed head chef Jeffrey de Rome, perhaps I wouldn't mind at all being bound to a hotel in this case.