Sydney hotel dining has been elevated with the opening of Pei Modern last week at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.
Pei Modern Sydney
Pei Modern Sydney is Melbourne’s Pei Modern younger sibling, headed by Executive Chef Mark Best of Marque Restaurant at the former site of The Woods.
Black, Sleek Interior
Gone is the provincial kitchen look with ceiling art, the vertical herb garden and the semi-private dining area. Pei Modern wears a contemporary, sleek and sexy black fitout adding a touch of elegance to the split-level dining space seating up to 190 people.
A bar with a separate menu offers a sub-section of the regular menu with pizzas and share plates in casual surrounds.
The wine list, with choices available by the glass is curated by sommelier Annette Lacey, winner of the Vin de Champagne Awards for 2014. A bottle of 2011 Bandol White Wine from the south of France makes a fine, crisp and dry accompaniment to the the menu while the 2009 Cascabel Tempranillo/Graciano from McLaren Vale suits the heavier meat-based dishes – both excellent recommendations on the night.
The wood-fired oven remains centre stage to the vibrant menu by Mark Best and Head Chef Matt Germanchis.
Wood-fired Sourdough Bread
Wood-fired sourdough bread in little hessian sack pochettes and house-churned butter mark the start of the meal.
Clyde River Rock Oysters
The menu is divided in categories and from Something Snacky, Some Raw, Some Cooked come Clyde River Rock Oysters ($4 each), freshly shucked, sitting atop rocks and swimming in their liquor with a mignonette sauce.
Anchovy Parmesan Shortbread
Anchovy Parmesan Shortbread ($7) follows with a mixture of sweet, savoury and salty flavours that leaves some of us divided.
Slices of Culatello ($23) sing the praises of the “King of Prosciutto”accompanied by crisp, fermented pear slices.
Wood-fired Tiger Prawns & Slow Cooked Pineapple
Wood-fired Tiger Prawns & Slow Cooked Pineapple ($24) are painted with Vadouvan, a blend of aromatic spices described as a French interpretation of Indian Masala. Sweet, smoky with a touch of spice, the prawns are split down the middle and cooked in their shell. Delicious.
Beef Tartare, Local Sea Urchin & Horseradish on Toast
The Beef Tartare, Local Sea Urchin & Horseradish on Toast ($20) is a must-have item on the menu. Perfectly seasoned meat, it’s a textural with the umami flavour of the sea urchin bursting on the palate as you take a bite.
Salt Cod Croquettes
The Salt Cod Croquettes ($13.50 for 6) are a crowd favourite, crisp, light and flavoursome.
Young Dandelion, Blood Orange, Bronze Fennel
Vegetarians don’t take a back seat in the Clean & Green category. The Young Dandelion, Blood Orange, Bronze Fennel ($16) is a fresh and bittersweet salad with good bite.
Burrata, Green Cauliflower, Egg Yolk Jam
The Burrata, Green Cauliflower, Egg Yolk Jam ($18) comes with a delicious a slow-cooked egg yolk that is almost gel-like in texture.
La Luna Goat Cheese Custard, Asparagus
Cooked in the wood-fired oven, La Luna Goat Cheese Custard, Asparagus ($18) steals the show with a combination of mild charring and a luscious cheese custard good enough to eat on its own.
Ricotta Dumplings, Kale, Hazelnuts
The Bigger Bites, Share or go Cray-Cray section tempts with Ricotta Dumplings, Kale, Hazelnuts ($30), soft, pillowy and with a burnt butter sauce on top of a bed of kale with a sprinkling of hazelnuts – a dish you might not want to share.
Salmon Tail, Samphire & Rouille
Cooked on the bone, the Salmon Tail, Samphire & Rouille ($40) is beautifully presented, cooked perfectly with loads of flavour and flakes easily with the fork.
Holmbrae Chicken, Globe Artichoke
Next comes the superb Whole Holmbrae Chicken, Globe Artichoke (half $38/whole$70) which brings silence to the table as every bite of the sweet, delicately smoked chicken is savoured.
Milly Hill Lamb Shoulder Cooked in Chamomile
From The Meat Spot, the Milly Hill Lamb Shoulder Cooked in Chamomile ($75 to share) is worthy of applause. The lamb, which is served in its roasting pan falls off the bone and is cooked in chamomile which gives the tender meat its sweeter flavour.
Sabago Hand-cut Fries
For a side, the Sabago Hand-cut Fries ($10) are difficult to resist, crisp and well-seasoned.
Fromage to Ewe
Fromage to Ewe ($16) brings a trio of Holy Goat, Brigid’s Well Sutton Grange Victoria, Pyengana 20 month Clothbound Cheddar, and Agour, Ossau-Iraty, 12 month Pyrenees hard cheese with preserved quince, fig jam and oat crackers.
The Sweet Spot features an array of desserts worthy of their own degustation.
Chocolate Tart, Eucalyptus, Cream
The Chocolate Tart, Eucalyptus, Cream ($17) elevates a humble tart to another level with wafer-thin tempered chocolate and a pool of salted caramel.
Spiced Doughnuts, Blood Orange, Whey Butterscotch
Spiced Doughnuts, Blood Orange, Whey Butterscotch ($16) bring out the inner child with tasty, playful balls of dough in butterscotch sauce.
Meringue, White Chocolate Ganache, Blueberries
The Meringue, White Chocolate Ganache, Blueberries ($16) is a lighter alternative,
Vanilla Ice Cream, Tamarillo
while the Vanilla Ice Cream, Tamarillo ($16) is a light and fruity alternative with a slight tang from the fruit.
Duck Egg Sauternes Custard & Crostoli
Marque’s signature Sauternes Custard comes “egg and soldiers” style, and it is not to be missed. The Duck Egg Sauternes Custard & Crostoli ($17) is light and full of flavour, and oh so silky and sensual in the mouth.
Pei Modern Sydney
Aside from lunch and dinner, Pei Modern offers a weekday “Eat! Pei! Quick” lunch menu with two courses and a coffee at an attractive price of $35.
Pei Modern breathes new life into the Sydney hotel restaurants dining scene with a menu that defies superlatives. While it borders on fine dining with the quality and level of service, it remains well-priced in a welcoming, classy yet informal surrounds.
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Pei Modern Sydney
Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George St, Sydney 2000
(Ph) 02 9250 3160
Lunch: Monday-Friday: 12-3pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday: 5:30pm until late
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