Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friday Night Dinner at The Victoria Room | Darlinghurst

I was in a cab on the way home last Friday night and the taxi driver said to me, “It’s not that busy on Friday nights these days. I don't know why but people don’t seem to go out on Friday nights anymore.” Perhaps Sydney restaurants are becoming the same ole, same ole and it’s just not worth fighting crowds on Friday nights. It has been raining a lot too so that could have something to do with it. People can just keep in touch with friends on social media these days. I must admit I haven’t been to a proper sit down fine dining dinner place for awhile as after a long week at work I’m too tired and prefer just to cook something quick and easy or to get take out and eat at home. But once in awhile going out and spending good quality one on one time with friends and family is a nice change particularly if it is at an establishment like The Victoria Room in Darlinghurst.


After my visit, can I just say the revamped establishment is simply first class in all respects. In addition, any establishment that has high quality entertainment is my kind of place! I was so stimulated not only by the amazing flavours and smell of the dishes and drinks but also the atmosphere. The Victoria Room in Darlinghurst on a Friday night hands down is the place to be. It has charm, grace, and royal elegance. The Victorian decor is simply stunning. Meticulously decorated in timeless Victorian style, you’ll feel as though you have been transported to another era of high society.

Under new ownership of well-known Sydney ‘food’ family the Manassen’s, The Victoria Room has recently undergone a stunning transformation by highly acclaimed interior designer Blainey North. The grandeur of the lush deep navy velvet curtains and plush sofas enhance the Award winning Cocktail Bar and the Restaurant led by acclaimed Executive Chef Samuel Cheetham (Becasse, Quarter Twenty One and Chez Bruce London). The Victoria Room is sure to impress with outstanding service and a wine and cocktail list to please even the most discerning of guests.
The pianoman and vocal entertainer with his smooth Buble-like voice throughout the night from 7.30pm was a real treat for Friday night Happy Hour. The Victoria Room had a real buzzy vibe but not loud enough that you can't hear the other person speak. It is a perfect location to meet up for drinks at the bar afterwork, casually lounge around with friends on the beautiful Victorian sofas or try their sensational dinner menu under the crystal chandeliers that softly illuminate the establishment, which is what we did. It truly was a very enjoyable dining experience that has got me raving about it to my friends and family. I had to walk away in the middle of writing this review as the food pictures were so mouth-watering, my stomach was grumbling and I had go and get a bite to eat before finishing off this review!

Here are some photos on what we ate (dinner for two but could have easily been a dinner for five!) and thank you to 'Lauren' for the first class service on Friday evening and the impeccable, and faultess menu dish recommendations.

#1 Starter 1: Freshly Shucked Oysters with frozen Champagne ($4 each). The Pacific Oysters
were from Smoky Bay in South Australia, whilst the Rock Oysters were from Merimbula in the NSW South Coast. Eating oysters always gives me wonderful memories. One time I was at a friend's wedding and was put on a table with a bunch of vegetarians. First dish served were oysters.  The poor things - 9 out of 10 people could not eat the starters. It just meant more oysters for me! I think I had about 20 oysters that night! Interestingly, when I tasted the oysters, I said to our waitress that it reminded me of oysters I had in the NSW South Coast some time ago...and they were (or half of them were).  These oysters with the champagne ice were refreshing palate cleansers.

#2 Starter 2: Crispy Zucchini Flower filled with Taleggio and Raisin ($5 each) with a cocktail designed by one of Australia's most awarded bar teams. The bar team shook me up a 'Caught in the Rain' ($25) - how appropriate for Sydney weather lately. It was House Gay Eclipse Silver and House Spiced Rums shaken up with madecoconut water, fresh pineapple, lime and coconut syrup all served in a real coconut. I was a little tipsy afterwards but all good. Yes - It’s really served in a coconut!

#3 Starter 3: Citrus cured King Salmon, Scallop, Lemon balm and Ginger ($19). Wonderfully light and fresh, this was a beautifully tasting starter.

#4 Side Dish 1: Caraway roasted Carrots, burnt Butter & Pine nuts ($14). This side dish had a sweetish flavour from the carrots and contrasted with a mild buttery nutty taste. Truly tantalising side dish.

#5 Side Dish 2: Broccolini, toasted Seeds, Grains, Cottage Cheese & Lemon Oil ($16). The brocollini was sweet and tender and the flavours were interestingly balanced with cottage cheese and pine nuts. I never had brocolinni this way before and it was delicious.
#6 Side Dish 3: Salt Baked Potatoes with Smoked Sour Cream, Shallots & preserved Lemon ($16)  This dish was my favourite side. A contrast of crispy potatoes to dip into the nicely spiced mash potatoes. A perfect comfort dish.
And these are only just starters and sides....

#7 Mains: 500g Char-grilled Black Angus Scotch Fillet, with a selection of Sauces ($50). This mouth-watering dish was done medium and was deliciously very tender. Needless to say, a half kilo steak was filling even for two people.  It came with two types of mustards and spinach on the side. We were rolling after this dish and the best is yet to come...

#8 Dessert 1 Warm Doughnuts with Jam & Chantilly... My goodness this was so good. Delicious, delicious, delicious! This was my favourite.

#9 Dessert 2: Chocolate Wattleseed Hazelnut Slice with Coffee and Cream.  Think the taste of mousy Nutella and the crunch of a Kit Kat texture in your mouth....this slice was so delicious.


 #10 Top this all off with a hot cup of good quality Chai Tea, which is my all time favourite at The Victoria Room. Their hand selected spice blend is enhanced by fresh slivers of ginger root, lush anti-oxidant enriched tea leaves and the purest Australian honey. 98% cafieine free. Served Latte style. I had mine with soy milk.

It's your turn...make a booking for next Friday. You won't be disappointed.

The Victoria Room
235 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst, Sydney NSW
02 9357 4488


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