Perched in probably the only spot in Sydney where a bridge-long queue of luminous red brake lights is seen as positive, I’m glad I got here early.
The mesmerising scene is reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi, with the beauty of this metropolis notched up even brighter whilst Vivid Sydney paints the town.
Enough about what’s happening outside, what’s happening inside the dark room is pretty exciting too!
Camera flashes two tables over clue us in to watch a live engagement, and in the kitchen young Chef Matthew McCool is making waves too.
For a good overview, choose his 7-course Epi-Curious Menu ($150/head) with wine matches in half ($65/75ml) or full ($100/150ml) pours - great for couples that don’t imbibe at the same rate.
Or dive straight at the hits, like Swordfish, Corn, Curry, Coconut ($40), which showcases the best local produce in an inventive yet accessible way. It eats even better with a glass of the 2012 Phillip Shaw No. 11 Chardonnay ($14) in your hand.
For the wilder side of combos, try his 9+ Wagyu Tongue with Caviar, Crab and Ponzu ($28).
Despite all the tasty extras from bread (onion and sage brioche) to butter (vanilla and thyme) being made in-house, try to save space for the Milk Chocolate Tart ($19) – it’s amazing!
PS: Apologies for my awful photos, this restaurant is incredibly dark. It's hard to argue with their lighting choice though, because it helps to showcase the incredible view.
Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9250 6123