Located inside Walsh Bay’s Pier One complex just near the south end of the Harbourbridge is the new Gantry Restaurant and Bar. In a space marked and defined by the timber columns and wharf like venue and space; Gantry is slick and intimate with a smart Modern Australian Menu with a strong leaning towards seafood – you’ll note that a large selection of the menu has seafood but there are choice selections of poultry and meats.
Looking across the venue, you enter and will be greeted by the main bar and a wander around reveals a seafood display and salad station – as well as produce on display to diners. There’s a showcase of the produce and Head Chef Chris Irving (ex Gordon Ramsay Group) emphaised the importance of local produce in their menu and you’ll note the fresh and local on there even if the menu does not specificially state it.
Our trio of oysters – there’s merimbula, sydney rock and pambula. $3.50each.
A duo of seafoods taken from their seafood display pictured above and simply grilled and drizzled with garlic butter. The natural taste of the seafood sings; Balmain bug $15/half $25/whole is fragrant and a wonderfully creamy taste sensation with the bug’s natural sweetness shining through while the QLD King prawn $18 similarly charred and swimming its own juices. That Balmain bug though is essential.
Spanner crab $22 with green apple, bergamot, radish, and sorrel. We are notoriously lazy with spanner crab. We had them at Ester and bemoaned the effort to get to its sweet tasty flash; so much so that it was one we gave up on. Here, you get cornell like mounds of sweet tender crab with that lashing of fragrant bergamot, crispy radish and tangy sorrel jelly. Its delightful and one we recommend.
This Venison tartare $20 is handchopped with malted barley, crispy shallots, and quail’s yolk. There’s kaffir lime on the plate too giving the dish an aromatic fragrance. This was a wonderfully presented and tasty dish that we shared between 2 but its easily one you’d want to keep for yourself. The mound of crispy shallots adding a good textural crunch to the dish.
Coorong Pipis $20 for 200 grams in a lemongrass, Kaffir lime, coconut sauce (you can get any of the three seafood options – Pipis, Kinkawooka Mussels and Hervey Bay Scallops cooked 2 ways – Ginger, Garlic and Shallot or Lemongrass, Coconut and Kaffir Lime). Delicious fresh pips just opened swimming in a light aromatic broth that you’d keep going back to.
Cone Bay barramundi with asparagus, lemon gremolata, and rosemary chat potatoes. Perfectly cooked Barramundi with an almost floral lemon gremolata sits on a bed of chats potatoes and the flavours are clean and satisfying.
Jumjum Mascovy Duck with cook co-op carrots, purslane, citrus glaze, and a beautiful orange carrot puree. We are informed that the JumJum Mascovy ducks grow up on a farm under hazelnuts trees and grow up eating hazelnuts which gives it a really unique favour. The carrots were crunchy and 2 ways with a delicious citrusy orange (juice) carrot puree on the plate that had us guessing what was in it.
You’d think salad? But even this was delicious and one we’d happily order again. The use of Annie Baxter Buffalo Milk Cheese (soft, Parmesany, tangy) took the edge of the Rocket and made this one you want to eat.
To finish we had All Saints Moscato $12. One of our favourite new discoveries, very light and tasty without that overt thick sweetness of conventional Moscato.
Mango Parfait $15 Local Mascarpone (Pepe Saya), coconut, coriander shoots
Ebenezer goat’s milk pudding $15 with rosella jam, oatmeal crumble, and fresh honeycomb
Both Desserts were a fine dining dessert lover’s treat and we’ve coming round to these dining venue desserts that’s priced right and compelling. The Rosella Jam (made from Hibiscus) might have been a tad too generous but the combination of homemade crumble, that fresh honeycomb is outstanding in the goat’s milk pudding. The Mango Parfait is fantastic being subtle in flavour with the light Pepe Saya Mascarpone and delicious mango/coconut pieces.
This was a fantastic dinner, with great attentive service and amazing food.
The Gantry Restaurant & Bar
Pier One, 11 Hickson Rd The Rocks, NSW 2000