Darley's Restaurant

Everything here aims to soothe and seduce... Darley's Restaurant.
Everything here aims to soothe and seduce... Darley's Restaurant. Photo: Supplied

Lilianfels Resort & Spa, 5-19 Lilianfels Avenue Katoomba, New South Wales 2780

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Opening hours Tue-Wed 5:30 – 10:00 PM, Thu-Sat 5:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Views, Wheelchair access, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Private dining, Romance-first date, Events, Degustation
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Lee Kwiez
Seats 120
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 4780 1200

It might be the chocolate and gold flock wallpaper or the inky black night beyond the picture-book windows, but dining at Darley’s is like entering another world. One that is calmer, slower, considered and designed for pleasure. From the plush carpet to the upholstered dining chairs and layered fine china on the cloth-covered table, everything here aims to soothe and seduce, including Lee Kwiez’s cooking. Each dish is beautiful to behold, tiny landscapes of colour and shape. Marron, butter-poached in vanilla, is in sweet concourse with segments of red grapefruit and confit tomato. A dish of duck breast and crisp dark leg meat goes luxe with a rich demiglaze and batons of toasted brioche spread with silken chicken liver parfait. Kwiez uses dessert territory to show off his admirable skills and the season, as in compressed apple, Calvados cream, apple sorbet and poppyseed sable with cinnamon marshmallow.

And … Ask for wine help; the sommeliers know what they are doing.

Very grown-up fine dining.
Best bit The cosseting.
Worst bit Getting the bill.