Luke Mangan’s grand Glass Brasserie is still one of the most reputable in the area, attached to the lush Hilton Sydney with it’s thousand-deep list of wines and award-winning food. A dining experience here has a premium feel but unlike many other restaurants of a similar ilk, there’s still something charmingly casual and easy-going in the air, offering an atmosphere that is as well balanced as anything on the menu. For those looking at a more up-scale Chinese New Year dining experience for 2016, it’d be hard to go past the excellent offering of a specially created four-course menu at Glass, available throughout this week, until Saturday 13th February.
Subtle Shandong twists have been added here, taking these creations to a new level and tasking Glass’ inventive kitchen with balancing many flavours on one dish, assisted with the exceptional Penfolds range, from the Reserve Bin 14A Chardonnay 2014 to the Reserve Bin95 Grange Shiraz 2011, all of which are available either by half glass ($18-$90), glass ($36-$180), or bottle ($180-$900). They aren’t messing around here when it comes to quality.
The menu starts with some Oysters done up with pickled ginger and shallot, outstandingly fresh and juicy, balanced against the other starter, an excellent Prawn Toast with Smoked Corn, taken from the restaurant’s usual tapas menu with a very light chipotle.
The regular offering of kingfish sashimi is well known and exceedingly popular amongst diners at Glass; for the CNY menu the usual ginger, eschallot, and persian feta is replaced by the fresh mix of jelly fish, organic soy, and apple to stay consistent with the natural flavour, bringing in a bit of sweetness from the apple but mostly allowing you to fully appreciate the perfect kingfish.
Getting to the more meaty dishes, the Chicken & Bug is prepared Shandong style with chilli and shallot dressing. The Moreton Bay Bug’s flavour is kept strong, juicy and rich, playing well with the very soft and well cooked chicken, both of swim in a rich sauce and benefit greatly from the dressing.
Diners who choose this menu are given two choices for mains, either the Lobster in a black pepper sauce, or the Char-Grilled Wagyu with soy glaze, wasabi, and ginger. It’s a very hard choice, and this is coming from a writer who tried both last week at a preview. It really depends on whether you lean towards seafood or meat.
With the lobster, there’s a lot of flesh that falls right out of that shell, ready to soak up with magnificent black pepper sauce which adds a spicy kick but isn’t excessive. As good as it was was, I personally preferred the wagyu (but only by a bit), several pieces of thick, juicy steak with an incredibly rich flavour from the glistening mix of soy glaze, wasabi, and ginger. Glass are well known for their various steaks and meats so there should be no hesitation when it comes to this option.
Mains are accompanied by a bowl of lightly spiced salt and pepper tofu with asparagus, sambal chilli paste, and sesame seeds also on the table should you want to introduce some more flavour.
Dessert is a Black Sesame & Chocolate Roulade with mango and tapioca, not overly rich but still strong enough with several distinctive flavours on the plate to play around with. A smooth dollop of green tea ice cream sits on that bed of fresh mango, best had when mixed up with the tapioca and a slice of the roulade.
From Vietnamese braised short rib to Morrocan spiced lamb cutlets, the kitchen at Glass are already well versed at bringing in small twists and turns to their up-scale Modern Australian dishes, drawing influence from the best parts of worldly cuisine to create stunning offerings. This CNY menu is no different, and is a necessary experience for those looking for a more premium way to dine out during a week full of Chinese New Year celebrations.
The four-course Chinese New Year menu at Glass Brasserie is $110 per person. A selection of premium Penfolds wines is available for purchase alongside the menu. It will be offered at Glass until Saturday 13th February. Bookings can be made by contacting the number below.
Address: 2/488 George St, Sydney (second floor of Hilton Sydney)
Contact: (02) 9265 6068
Sunday – 6–9:30pm
Monday – 6–10am, 12–3pm, 6–9:30pm
Tuesday – 6–10am, 12–3pm, 6–9:30pm
Wednesday – 6–10am, 12–3pm, 6–9:30pm
Thursday – 6–10am, 12–3pm, 6–9:30pm
Friday – 6–10am, 12–3pm, 6–9:30pm
Saturday – 6–9:30pm