Hotel Centennial, Woollahra

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I imagine that if the atmosphere of the Hamptons - that luxe US vacation destination - was to be channeled into a restaurant, then it would resemble Hotel Centennial. Now I could be wrong (I've never actually been to the Hamptons), but it exudes that same beach-side elegance that is so frequented in popular culture.

There is a distinctively warm yet classy vibe about the dining room. It’s both casual and contemporary, with a mix of wooden chairs, padded leather seats and plush, comfy couches in shades of white, powder blue and earth orange. Sunlight floods through the wide windows during the day, which dims at night to create an intimate, cosy. It feels like we’ve arrived in someone’s warm, inviting home - worlds away from the busy rush of Oxford Street outside.

The menu features both Asian and European influences, with a focus on high quality local produce cooked according to today's food trends - think goats curd tacos and fried chicken, alongside share dishes like homemade whole wheat flatbread and local charcuterie. There’s even a high tea menu offered during the day. 

Centennial Fried Chicken, red chilli miso ($14)

I love me some fried chicken. This comes as four boneless fillets that have an attractive, deep golden, bubbled crust. Each piece is super-juicy, served with a sweet, fiery red chilli miso sauce in place of traditional mayonnaise. 

SA calamari, aioli, lime, citrus salt ($16)

Lightly fried calamari pieces are tender and soft, although there aren't very many on the plate. The citrus salt provides a welcome tang, and the aioli is a must. 

Petuna ocean trout, Tuscan kale, barley couscous & rice wine vinaigrette ($24)

The hip food trend continues with this kale and smoked ocean trout salad. The fresh kale bulks up the salad and lends a hearty texture, and the smoky trout goes well with the punchy dressing. It’s a good size for a salad, but could also be eaten as a main with a side or two.  

Centennial fish & chips ($34)

A refined take on the pub classic, King George whiting fillets are fried in a soda batter and served with cos lettuce and fries. The fish is sweet and fresh, made even better by the light, crispy batter and crunchy fries. 

Snapper crab spaghetti, lemon, zucchini, chilli ($34)

Spaghetti is cooked in light tomato-based sauce that is laced with sweet snapper crab and coats every strand of the pasta. The soft zucchini soaks up all the wonderful, seafood flavour. 

Summer fish pie ($36)

The local fish in today’s pie is salmon, positioned grandly as a whole fillet in the middle of the pan and topped with a scallop and mussels. As is traditional, the topping of the fish pie consists of a buttery mix of mashed potato and béchamel sauce that is ultra smooth and creamy. A smattering of peas and soft leeks add a little greenery to each delectable mouthful. 

Crack Willow Farm pork belly ($38)

Three generous pieces of soft pork belly rest atop a smear of silky potato puree, doused in a peppercorn jus. They’re accompanied by buttery shredded greens and sweet pumpkin fondant, which pair perfectly with the rich pork. The best bit is the crispy crackling that shatters with every bite, although it is a little hard to cut into with the standard table knife. Heaven on a plate. 

Black Angus grass fed beef fillet ($39)
A petite fillet of medium rare Angus beef is surrounded by rounds of potatoes and confit cherry tomatoes. The pink beef melts in the mouth - a simple, tasty but luxurious dish.

It’s the mix of refined elegance and casual ambience that makes dining at Hotel Centennial such a pleasant experience. Pub classics are mixed with modern flavours and on-trend foods at this venue that is ideal for almost any occasion. 


Hotel Centennial Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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