The rooftop restaurant at the $14 million Shell House opens its doors in the Sydney CBD today, with the Dining Room & Terrace serving its first hits of Beluga and Oscietra caviar.
"It's the star of the show," Shell House chief Brett Robinson says of the restaurant. With the Sky Bar and Clocktower Bar already trading, all eyes have been on the launch of the Dining Room & Terrace.
Design studio Woods Bagot and interior stylist Anna Hewett have created a fresh addition to the Sydney dining landscape. And while the rooftop position gives it cache, it's the kitchen team that has caught the attention of the Sydney restaurant scene.
Head chef Aaron Ward (ex Sixpenny) and group executive chef Joel Bickford (ex Aria) were big signings for the venue, Ward explains their similar philosophies yet different experiences helped bounce ideas for the opening.
The menu is luxe, if you go looking for dishes such as crab and caviar ($70) and a 500-gram Rangers Valley dry aged sirloin ($105), but Robinson explains "we want it to be an essential restaurant for Sydney, not just special occasions". And you can tuck into agnolotti ($38), risotto ($36) or spatchcock with preserved lemon and mustard fruits ($54).
There's also an impressive vegetarian line-up. "That was one thing I got from Sixpenny, I remember when I first plated up the beetroot with black fungus ($34) it really held its own against all the other dishes," Ward says.
"The menu has been created so you can have a different journey each time you visit," Ward says. That's if you can get a booking, with the restaurant already shaping as one of the hot venues of the Sydney summer.
Open Thu-Sat lunch; Wed-Sat dinner.
Dining Room & Terrace, Level 9, 37 Margaret Street, Sydney, shellhouse.com.au