GRAZE By Laurie Werner
Global Gastro Satisfy your appetite for perfection.
The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney Sydney, Australia
It has always had the view: a waterfront, direct vista of the Sydney Opera House. Over the years, though, the chef and menu at The Dining Room at Park Hyatt Sydney have gone through various transformations, hitting a peak after French-born Franck Detrait took over the kitchen in late 2013. The result is a mix of modern Australian with Above: Seared Bluefin tuna, beetroot and raspberry condiment, dashi and sumac. Right: View of Sydney Opera House from The Dining Room’s outdoor seating area .
Asian tones and a serious French overlay, the culmination of Detrait’s Burgundy and Provençal origins and time spent in some of Paris’ top kitchens. The extraordinarily vivid ingredients available in Australia are paramount, and Detrait skillfully combines them in dishes such as seared Bluefin tuna with beetroot and raspberry condiment, dashi and sumac as well as Murraylands lamb loin with spring onion, baby pak choi, pistachio and tarragon sabayon. He follows it all up with creative desserts such as chocolate Gran Cru with hazelnut and quinoa, served with raspberry sorbet. To complement such complexity on the plate, The Dining Room—recently named “Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year” at the New South Wales TAA Awards—keeps things simple in terms of design. The room is airy, refined and neutral, with cream-colored, contemporary furniture and slim, hanging accent lights. The main decoration is the wall of windows showing off the city’s most famous sight. 7 Hickson Road, +61 2 9256 1234, diningroom.com.au
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia You might not expect to find an authentic Italian restaurant within the walls of a Colonial mansion in the historic center of Cartagena, but Vera is exactly that—delivering expertly prepared, coastal Italian cuisine as the main restaurant of the boutique Hotel Tcherassi. Chef Daniel Castaño is Bogota-born and raised, but his culinary background is in the New York kitchens of restaurants Babbo, Lupa and Otto under the tutelage of famed Italian chef Mario Batali. As a result, Castaño’s pastas—like fettuccine aragosta, prepared with lobster, garlic and tomatoes, as well as risotto with Portobello mushrooms, fontina cheese and thyme—would pass muster with even the most discerning visiting Italian. Main courses are also on point, whether strictly traditional, such as snapper with artichokes, or veering slightly into more unusual terrain like steak with Gorgonzola, onions, macadamias and cherries. Adding to the appeal is the setting: sleek and contemporary, in contrast to the 250-year-old stone walls encasing the room. And out-
Above: Peach salad with arugula, lettuce, goat cheese, macadamia nuts and balsamic. Left: Inside Vera.
doors, a patio bordered by stone archways and surrounded by 3,000 plants is a leisurely setting for enticing, elegantly simple food. Calle del Sargento Mayor N 6-21, +57 5 6644445, tcherassihotels.com/dining/ 22
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