Located at Pier One in Walsh Bay, the Gantry Restaurant and Bar opened in late in 2014 and officially launched in March.
The Gantry Restaurant & Bar
The venue pays homage to its maritime history with a design by architectural firm Bates Smart that combines industrial roots with a contemporary slick fitout with exposed pillars, steel framing, elegant furniture and timber flooring with rich, dark, moody lighting. From the reception area, the eye is drawn to the imposing bar with custom built boat-shaped lights floating above.
Boasting a serene waterfront location, the outdoor wooden bunker style seating invites leisurely sipping and nibbling from the bar menu.
Bar Manager, Ben Taouss (previously co-owner of Assembly Bar and General Manager of Pocket Bar) has put together an impressive cocktail list based on classics that are given the Gantry touch with a nod to native and botanical ingredients.
New Word in Town
New Word in Town ($21) is based on The Last Word cocktail but given a smoky flavour with Banhez Mezcal, Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, lime and a garnish of dried fennel. Aside for the elegant aesthetics, this is one excellent drink that blends earthiness with citrus and smoke.
El Gantry (right)
El Gantry ($19) cocktail may look misleading at first with its dark red hue. Made with Altos Tequila, blueberry shrub and native herbs (kutjera, mountain pepper berry and native thyme are cited on the menu), it is far removed from a sweet and fruity drink and has a good balance of savoury notes and acidity from the shrub.
Should you feel peckish as you work your way through the cocktails, the Gantry Bar offers a selection of bar bites from a selection of cured meats ($28) and Chef’s Larder Salad ($20) to a Bucket of King Prawns with housemade garlic bread ($39).
The Gantry Restaurant
Executive Chef, Chris Irving is at the helm of The Gantry Restaurant, bringing his international experiences to Sydney which include four years with the Gordon Ramsay Group.
The ethos is to use fresh, sustainable and regional produce, from NSW where possible, supporting small farms and artisan producers. A black board lists the main producers and suppliers such as Andrews Meats, Joto Fresh Fish, Cooks Co-Op, Feather and Bone and Epicurean Harvest.
The impressive seafood display invites peering through the glass and choosing fresh seafood ranging from Hervey Bay scallops to Kinkawooka mussels and Balmain bugs.
The Sydney Rock Oysters ($3.50 each) from Tathra are freshly-shucked and come with a shallot & black pepper mignonette. They’re creamy, briny and taste of the sea.
Choosing from the six starters is no easy feat, with each option as tempting as the other. The Spanner Crab ($22) comes in an artful presentation. The three creamy quenelles of spanner crab are light as air in texture and are accompanied by green apple, a sensational bergamot gel, shaved radishes from Epicurean Harvest in the Blue Mountains, and sorrel.
The Venison Tartare ($20) with malted barley, crispy shallots and quail’s yolk is a standout. Fresh and gamey, the crispy shallots and sliced fried garlic add a good measure of seasoning and texture while the freshly-grated kaffir lime zest lifts the dish and keeps it light.
Jumjum Muscovy Duck
From the mains, the Jumjum Muscovy Duck ($36) is exquisite. The crispy skinned bird is succulent and the citrus glaze adds a little sweetness. It comes with Cooks Co-op roasted carrots and a purslane salad.
Mirrool Creek Lamb Chops
Pink, tender and sweet, Mirrool Creek Lamb Chops ($35) have a lingering smoky flavour that makes the dish. It is accompanied by half a head of roasted and caramelised garlic, saltbush and roasted trussed cherry tomatoes.
Duck Fat Roasted Chats
When Duck Fat Roasted Chats ($8) are on the menu, they’re difficult to resist particularly when they’re this good. Crisp on the outside and well seasoned, they have a good measure of delicious duck fat.
A glass of 2011 ‘H.P.’ Hydraulic Press Shiraz ($12) by David Franz from the Barossa Valley was a good discovery and makes a fine accompaniment to the main courses.
Fresh Austral Figs
For dessert, Fresh Austral Figs ($15) are served with a white chocolate mousse, drizzled with Riesling syrup, roasted white chocolate crumble and white chocolate shavings. The addition of thyme to the figs is a nice touch and cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate.
Dining at The Gantry is an experience well worth repeating. The ambience is classy, welcoming yet relaxed. The dishes are a celebration of produce whether they come from the sea or from the land and made to shine. The waterside location makes it an ideal spot for Sydney-siders and visitors alike to dine with friends or enjoy a special occasion after a drink or two at sunset at the bar.
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The Gantry Restaurant & Bar
Pier One Sydney Harbour
11 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay NSW 2000
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