Henry Deane launches bottomless lunch in the clouds

When it first opened its lift doors in 2015 Sydney had never seen anything like it. A rooftop cocktail bar majestically perched in a remote corner of the Rocks with 360 degrees of drop dead gorgeousness across two floors. The former drinking den for Anzacs and ‘wharfies’ had been derelict for years until The Palisade Group took on a mission of love.

Back then it was pink sofas, soft pebble tones, muslin curtains, rose gold metal embellishments and walls of tiny white hexagonal tiles. Today it’s still as glamorous as ever with high tables in the middle and banquet seating along the sides of the ‘storm room’ looking onto Barangaroo.

We take our comfy chairs by the window (not too bright/not too dark) and our bubbly server welcomes us with the drinks list. We are here to check out the new bottomless lunch and we opt for the premium package starting with a lovely glass of Bandini Prosecco from Italy.

First up is an ‘add on’ two delicious rock oysters which are dipped into a chilli mix with tamarind pickled shallots. It’s like the oyster equivalent of a margarita as the coating of the shell hits your lips and then the lovely briney, creamy oyster flavour bombs hit. A plate of South Australia pipi’s are dotted with pickled capsicum and red onion creating a delicate start to the lunch. The next dish is mind blowingly clever. Head Chef Cian Mulholland is a creative force at his best here. The best way to think of this is a seafood bloody mary! Chunks of raw tuna, tomato, celery, buttermilk and horseradish cream is a ballet of flavours twirling, prancing and leaping around my tastebuds. Act Two please!

Potato hash with pork dust… there are no words…

So not surprisingly, I order a Bloody Mary which is bloody good and bloody spicy! The perfect anti hero to all this delicious, cleansing food is up next. To call it a Potato Hash doesn’t really do it justice. Four golden soldiers of crispy potato are piped with a topping of creamy rich abalone sauce then dusted with smoked pork dust. You could slice them with a knife and fork but bugger that, we pick each up and scoff the lot. Oh my! It’s life affirmingly delicious, the only beef I have is that I want a bowl of these babies (and they are very small).

For many diners, this may be the danger point of a bottomless brunch with few carbs. We are now an hour and a bit in with possibly the only carb to touch our lips has been the potato hash. We have a distant memory of a square warm fluffy bread roll, which was specifically made for Henry Deane by a local Jewish baker LittleMixBakery and was delicious. We order two more!

Thankfully a more substantial dish of slow roasted spiced pork neck, ginger, black vinegar and scallion arrives. It is tossed with slivers of crunchy cucumber. A little bowl of spiced white bean dip, pickles and a trio of hot sauces arrives all made in house. This is a menu which will improve your gut biome, given the number of dishes with touches of pickles and ferments. A spout salad of cucumber, soya bean dressing and crispy leak looks like a mad professor hair-do. We add a crispy chicken spatchcock which hits all the high notes of crispy, rich and fun dude food.

Last to arrive is a dessert of champions, it’s like a deconstructed cheesecake as pieces of roasted pear, cookie crumbs, black sesame are covered in a fluffy doona of white chocolate foam, we slide our spoon in and hunt for buried treasure.

This is a decadent brunch, its light, breezy, hedonistically beautiful but impressively executed. Dining in the clouds is one thing, but leaving like you are on cloud nine is another…and that’s what Henry Deane does so well.

Henry Deane, The Palisade, 35 Bettington St, Millers Point
Opening Hours: Tue 5pm–11pm; Wed to Sun 12pm–midnight

Food included.$120 ior PREMIUM BEVERAGE PACKAGE Selected cocktails, mimosas, prosecco, white wine, red wine, beer Food included. $160

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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