14 June 2023
It’s been 29 years to the day since I’ve stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney. I know because it’s my wedding anniversary. Somehow my husband and I have made it through seven house renovations (we’re on to our eighth), two new builds, a son, eight cats, (three still going strong) and the pandemic.
So yes, we are celebrating at Sydney’s most exclusive hotel. 29 years ago, we really didn’t get to enjoy the lavish Park Hyatt.
Wedding photos ended past midnight and there was a relatively early flight to Fiji the next day but I still remember the wonderful scrambled eggs we had in our suite overlooking the best view in Sydney.
The view hasn’t changed but the scrambled eggs have – well for me anyway, as I opted for the spanner crab omelette breakfast with spicy chilli oil. I try to keep to a seagan diet – no meat, no dairy and sustainable seafood.
As I’ve mentioned in The best breakfast in the world, the spanner crab alone is worth the visit to the Park Hyatt.
So our sojourn begins with me handing the keys over to the concierge and a smile from the person behind the reception desk who hails me with a hearty, “Welcome back.” Did they really remember we were here all that time ago?
A short lift journey and then a long walk to our room which feels like we are on an ocean liner to gorgeous accommodation with the Opera House view. It’s not the suite we had on our wedding night but it is still luxurious. A cute terrace from where we see images of a bride with her four bridesmaids in delicate pink being bossed around by a photographer on the deck in front of the Hyatt with the stunning Opera House backdrop.
Have fun with the switch flicking blinds either sheer or blackout, although it seems criminal to black out that view. There’s a marble bathroom (one I modelled my own on with the limestone tiles) that has a heated toilet seat, fluffy towels and amenities by Le Labo.
It’s almost swimming weather so we visit the rooftop pool, which is pleasurably empty but rather than opt for a dip, the Rocks markets calls before the dinner of a lifetime at James Viles’ The Dining Room at the Park Hyatt Sydney.
Prior to a flute of my favourite brand of champagne, Taittinger we are given a deliciously large thimble of eucalypt and honey drink. It’s so good I ask for a second. And then the decadence really begins. First up caviar. We opt for the 30 g of oscietra at $190, which comes with the softest buttermilk crumpet, cultured cream and chives. One of the most expensive and prized caviars, it offers a delicate texture with long buttery flavours with a touch of walnuts and dried fruits.
We decide against the Kaluga caviar at $210 per 30 grams, although it is meant to closely capture the unique essence of Beluga Caviar. It is a hybrid caviar and a sustainable answer to Beluga or European sturgeon population. It is said to perhaps even exceed the experience of tasting the once-banned Beluga Caviar.
Sydney is glittering and our view of the Opera House makes for even more of a WOW-factor night.
Following the caviar we dine on truffled potato chips with coastal hot sauce. These are cold chips not hot chips which are a very unusual dinner item but the hot sauce (from Dee Why) makes them one I’d love to revisit. I’m not mad about truffles but the taste is delicate and really sets of the mild chip flavour.
It’s hardly possible to have a decadent dinner without lobster so we are treated to a southern rock lobster making this the most opulent dinner of a lifetime. Accompanying the lobster as a separate dish are grilled leeks + nut crème + raw peas + seaweed oil. Then there’s trout pastrami + sunflower pound cake + ranch.
I peruse the desserts but I just can’t manage another bite, unfortunately. The choice is between grape + verjus + sour meringue, raspberry ripe + coconut ripple, fig leaf ice cream sanga + Davidson plum or this week’s cheeses + seeded cracker + condiments .
The Dining Room has gone up to the highest level of any restaurant in Sydney with Viles strong focus on seasonal and sustainable food which has earned the restaurant a chef’s hat. Head chef is Brian O’Flaherty from Quay restaurant. The combination of Viles and O’Flaherty has resulted in a constantly evolving menu that highlights hand-picked ingredients from the farm of James Viles. The drinks menu also boasts local distilleries such as Hickson House & Brix.
What adds to this experience is that rather than have to be done up to the max, the dress code is smart casual. This quality of service, food and location would be hard to find anywhere in the world with a similar dress code and adds to the enjoyment of the whole experience.
In a real-estate-obsessed city like Sydney, you won’t find any more premium space than the Park Hyatt on Sydney Harbour with a view of both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Add to this high-level friendly service and premium dining and you‘ll want to trade in your Mosman mansion for a room over the bridge.