Well this isn’t really a review for the restaurant as such, but for a function held at Rydges and I guess the same kitchen and chefs are involved, so here we go. We went to our daughter’s wedding reception at the hotel on Easter Monday evening along with 80 or so guests. It was held in the reception centre on the first floor adjacent to a covered terrace area where guests were initially served canapés and later could go to grab a breath of fresh air and escape the dance floor!
The menu listed one entrée – salmon, with lemon and dill gnocchi – and a choice of two mains – barramundi and char grilled beef. Pavlova was offered as dessert. There was a choice of a white and red wine, a couple of beers and fruit and soft drinks.
A piece of lightly cooked salmon – seared as described – was served perched on a couple of pieces of gnocchi, flavoured with lemon and dill, on a bed of purée of broccoli, with butter and balsamic drizzled over. The fish was pink and moist, flaking easily; the gnocchi light and well cooked, while the purée was creamy with the earthy notes of the vegetable. The accompanying sauce blended well with the others flavours of the dish. Considering that this was served to 80 people at the same time, it was a very good dish, setting a high standard for the mains to follow.
The barramundi came with a nicely crisped skin covering very tender fish – barramundi can often be overcooked to the point where it becomes too soft but that was not the case here; it retained a little firmness. The mash was creamy, very smooth, lifted by the addition of the onion which imparted a sweet tone, and again the sauce melded well with the other ingredients. This was another well turned out dish.
The beef was char grilled and served on a bed of warm potato salad, with broccoli and cherry tomatoes as accompaniments. The cut of meat was cooked more to well done than suits the taste of many – however I understand that to serve about 40 people at once and to a consistent standard makes it impossible to prepare the meat to individual requirements. Acknowledging that, it retained a touch of pink at the centre and was tender, if slightly under seasoned. The broccoli had been cooked well, with some crunch to the bite, and the warm salad complemented the beef.
As for the pavlova – the meringue top was crumbly, with the vanilla mascarpone filling creamy, sweet and tasty but it was much too chewy at the base – this was the case with all served to the table I was on, so I guess it was also the case elsewhere; overcooked a little I think.
The service was exemplary – the manager of the room was in attendance and on hand to address any issues – a couple of people had dairy allergies which precluded them having the mash and the broccoli purée, and the kitchen responded quickly to produce alternatives at very short notice.
So, overall the food, especially in the circumstances, showed a good level of kitchen skill – there was a minor glitch with the dessert, but caught up in the occasion of our beautiful daughter’s wedding I am sure no one really noticed or cared. I certainly would have little hesitation in recommending looking to the hotel for any function you care to have.