Outside its a tourist jungle of fish & chip shops, shopping strips and the odd head swooping seagull. However, inside the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour its an oasis of calm with Atelier bringing you closer to the tastes South of France, rather than CBD’s southern shores.
This is a heaven for francophiles – inspired by the food of Marseille in France, Nicolas Mercier (Director of F&B) has created a theatrical dining experience including a fire engine red main kitchen which could grace the cover of Vogue Living. Executive chef Eric Costille has fallen for his Le Creuset pots in more ways than one.
Signature dishes are well signposted on the menu so follow directions to Pastis flamed Yalumba prawns giving the fresh tomato sauce an aniseed kick. A crab timbale is a trio of mango, tomato and crab layers balanced with ginger, coriander and shallot. The showstopper is the bouillabaisse. Finished at the table, the curvaceous king prawns, seabream, scallops and squid are given its sea legs as stock is poured around the plate.
It wouldn’t be a french restaurant without steak and chips. Try the Brooklyn Valley T-bone with a flavoured butter such as shallots and red wine. The mushroom side is forest walk of Porcini, black trumpet, morel, Portobello tossed with parsley and garlic. Make sure you order truffle mash, it’s harder than a tube of Pringles to stop.
With Champagne Bar next door, try their signature 2009 Louis Roederer Philippe Starck Brut Nature. Its exclusive to Sofitel and the only place in Sydney you can sip this bad boy.
This is one glamorous spot, which isn’t too pretentious, isn’t too casual, it’s got Je ne sais quoi, something special which happens when all the ingredients of a great dining experience come together… with a bubble or two.
Atelier by Sofitel
Level 3, 12 Darling Drive, Sydney, NSW 2000
Lunch Everyday 12 – 2pm Dinner Monday to Saturday 5.30 – 10pm, Sunday 5.30 – 9pm