The great beauty of dining at The Woods Restaurant in The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is the feel that Executive Chef Hamish Ingham has in his treatment of great produce. I’ve been to The Woods now four or five times but my latest visit was the first time I had eaten lunch there. Although the lunch menu offers additional choices of Chicken, bacon sandwich and fries and The Woods burger and fries, as well as three different Pizzetta, we stayed with entrees and mains and what The Woods does best, which is meals from the grill. In a testiment to chef’s great understanding of seasonality, when we swapped and shared our mains all the accoutrements from one dishes married perfectly well with the other. Sensational!
The Ash seasoned ocean trout, smoked trout roe + parsley salad was a beautiful choice for my starter; the trout was luscious and light yet with a depth of flavours from a deft hand. What really impressed me was the marvellous roe. Although it had been washed with white soy and mirin, the little pearls retained a beautiful pop pop pop in the mouth. I want more.
My friend had ordered Wood grilled prawns, lardo and lemon so I gave them a try too. Good to get our hands dirty as there is nothing like eating with your fingers, yet all was well as we had each been supplied with a finger bowl to wash our hands. The prawns worked well with the smokey wood infusion which the creamy lardo complimented nicely.
The best was still to come and the meal reached a stunning crescendo with mains. Before I’d ordered, I’d strolled across to the open kitchen to ask for a recommendation and was told it had to be lamb. The Cowra lamb had just arrived that morning and was served rare as I’d requested and with crispy baked delicious lamb fat intact and keeping it moist. Olive wood roasted lamb, grilled carrots, chickpeas, purslane and tahini yoghurt was a super combination with interesting light and shade in textures and well as flavours. As I’d previously devoured moist flakey tasty whole fish and juicy Rangers Valley steak at other dinners at The Woods it was fun to check out some of the other options this time. By the way if you are a steak lover you couldn’t pick a better place to devour a big piece of red meat. Spied: two girls from Meat & Livestock Australia were sitting at another table for lunch doing just that. Perhaps the pick of the day though was the entree my friend had as her main: Whole wood roasted quail, grilled grapes, toasted barley and verjuice. What a sensational mix of the best available produce. The nutty crunchy Italian barley played with the soft sweetness of the warm grapes still on their stems as a bunch and uplifted the tender moist flesh of The Game Farm quails. Terrific. Just terrific.
If you haven’t been to The Woods (or even if you have) it’s time to give yourself a treat.
The restaurant is discretely tucked away at the back of The Fours Seasons Hotel lobby buffered by The Woods bar area and with such fine food and the type of attentive service that we all deserve, is a very welcome addition to the Sydney dining scene.
And if all of this doesn’t tempt you perhaps the other choices on the current menu will:
Meat from the wood fire
Grasslands beef fillet, bone marrow and dandelion
Aged sirloin on the bone and black garlic butter
O’Connor scotch, grilled sour onions and sage
Our native thyme Berkshire pork sausage and cherry tomato jam
Whole wood roasted crab, local garlic and pepper berry
Ground Floor The Four Seasons Hotel
199 George St Sydney NSW Australia
+61 2 9250 3100