Chuffed to bits. That's how chef Hamish Ingham should feel about his new-ish hotel restaurant, The Woods. Ingham has forged a name for himself through Bar H that has been a rather conscientious worker on the Sydney food scene with it's Chinese fusion menu. The Woods is a pretty major achievement then: the entire restaurant from woe to go has been re-done from scratch, seats over 100 and has a menu (and wine list) that's no slouch.
|In the beginning, there was garlic & native thyme flatbread. Fresh out of the wood fire oven (you'll start to see a recurring theme here), this was the perfect start to kickstart the appetite. That, and a glass of white wine!|
Enter me/us. The restaurant fit out by Michael McCann is pretty nice with a definite organic kind of feel to it, and on a pretty big scale. It has the interesting details of black scrawlings on the ceiling of recipes and ingredients as well as that weird and wacky spider-like chandelier of table lamps. Off to the right side is a largish private dining room that would be ace for corporate functions (or if you're feeling very generous). The centre of attention though is definitely the open plan kitchen where Ingham leads a pretty tight outfit. Smoke may be a-billowing but they hardly break a sweat (figuratively speaking). If you're up for a pre-dinner tipple, Grain Bar is a hop, skip and a jump away.
|My restaurant photos basically paled in comparison, my little compact really struggles in these low light joints. So this is the wide-angled profesh version for y'all Credit: The Woods Restaurant|
The menu is only a one pager but boy did we deliberate on which dishes to order. As a homage to the restaurant's 'raison d'être' (whipping out the scanty french again), we consciously ordered as many grilled, roasted and smoked dishes as we could. I think we did a pretty good job of it. Let your eyes be the judge...
Give me a 'D'...
So word out on the street is that it's pretty good. Señor Durack, Time Out and Gourmet Traveller's blessings can't be a bad thing. I can't quite believe I've missed The Woods for all these months because it's definitely a keeper. I think the whole package is pretty tight; the food coming off of those grills is still smokin'.
Thanks for reading!