It’s a Sydney institution which has remained untouched for 12 years. We adored the bar, then came fine dining followed by many an afternoon in the sun-trapped garden. So, is our first love still as alluring after the ship-shape makeover?
The makeover is Norwegian cool; quilted Scandinavian jackets hug dining chairs, a harlequin denim ceiling, eggshell blue high chairs, copper down lights with oversized exposed bulbs and polished wood everywhere. Interior designer Luchetti Krelle (Acme, Hotel Centennial, Woolwich Pier Hotel) knows her fan base.
But let’s get to the food. Head Chef James Wallis may have won Gordon Ramsay’s Best British Restaurant, 2AA Rosettes and recognition in the UK Michelin Guide but his finest hour is this. The produce he’s cooking with is so seasonal and fresh if the menu had Kangaroo, it would be bouncing to the bar for a cold one.
Plump caramelised miso scallops boldly paired with turnip and crispy pigs tail is a head turner; the tomato heirloom salad with mozzarella and balsamic jelly is a great way to start, followed by mains of pop till you can’t stop roasted garlic and parsley gnocchi under a snow shower of parmesan. Alternatively opt for golden cornfed chicken with dutch carrots speckled with puffed rice and tahini or enjoy flavourful cubes of watermelon paired with perfectly pink seared lamb. For those who like a bit ‘on the side’ don’t miss the toasted almond butter sprouts and honey roasted vegetables. The wine list has Veuve Cliquot by the glass, but explore further afield with an award winning Domaine A Stoney Vineyard Pinot and you’ll be giving the Tilbury a distinction mark for all elements beautifully crafted together.
The Tilbury Hotel
12-18 Nicholson Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011