UK Masterchef arrives at The Tilbury.

It’s seen many rich and famous personalities through its doors, but now the Tilbury’s kitchen gets its own bit of stardom as it welcomes Mark Holland who stepped off the set of UK’s Masterchef: The Professionals (top four) and into Michelin Starred ‘The Box Tree’, London Gastro Pub ‘Bull & Last’ and then Nomad.

Last year the Tilbury got its Norwegian makeover as slate coloured quilted jackets hugged dining chair companions, the ceiling was adorned with harlequin denim squares and copper down lights gave new warmth to the trendy Scandinavian look.

tilbury plate and glass

We love a menu that has three stages before you get to the mains. Snack, Share and To Start contain dishes that are fun and seasonal. Snack on two generous rounds of goats cheese, drizzled in truffle honey and dusted with walnut crumbs or dip buttermilk chicken into spicy chipotle mayonnaise. Onto the share ‘boards’; it’s a fishy line up starting with a cute tin of savoury Codesa anchovies and ocean trout pate – just perfectly smeared on house made soda bread. It’s a race to who can eat the salt cod croquettes or micro squid the fastest.

kingfish ceviche

‘To Start’ is where things get a bit more grown up as generous petal slices of Kingfish Ceviche dotted with pink grapefruit, finger limes and yuzu dressing create an edible bloom on plate worthy of the Chelsea Garden show. As does the beautifully presented salt baked beetroot salad.

‘To Follow’ is a crispy skin Barramundi which redefines the category. Think pork crackling – that’s just how good it is. En-papillote Tiger Prawns arrive in a golden bath of garlic and basil butter and if chips had a weekly top chart, ‘Brushed Sobago’ would be our #1 thanks to Marks extensive trials of varietals, oils, temperatures and cooking time. Sydney – we have found the champion chip.

Some celebs come and go, others have more staying power (and let’s face it, talent). The wine list is beautifully curated, the service is easy on the eye; smooth and professional. This is a venue where the real stars are the food and how you feel at the end of the evening.

The Tilbury Hotel
12-18 Nicholson Street
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011

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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