It’s a long way down from a beautifully plated almond pastilla with buttermilk, Opalys white chocolate and honeycomb to a somewhat stale trio of Praline Choux Pastry ($15) profiteroles with salted caramel ice cream. Yes, under new Executive Chef Alex Vilches, Stockroom is a very different proposition to the restaurant I first experienced in the hands of the talented Julien Pouteau. Though with hotel guests being notoriously finicky diners, it’s possible that this restaurant’s evolution into an upmarket steakhouse comes at their clients’ behest.
The room remains the same stately affair, thickly carpeted with ornate high ceilings, plush banquettes, and well-spaced, comfortable chairs. It’s moodily dim, prompting many of the mature clientele to read the succinct menu by iPhone torchlight.
Irregular plates give entrees like Maple Grilled Eggplant ($19) dominated by a large slab of haloumi, or the Slow Braised Lamb Belly ($22) with sunchokes and parsnip puree, quite a homey feel.
Perhaps pandering to homesick hotel guests, both dishes feel like something one could successfully replicate at home.
Reproducing the slow grilling over hot charcoal achieved on the hotel’s robata grill in a home-kitchen would be somewhat more difficult. It’s employed to good effect on an O’Connor Pasture-Fed New York Steak ($32/220gm), presented precisely as ordered - medium-rare – striated by thick grill marks.
A plumper Flame-Roasted Grange Silver Certified Angus Rib Eye ($42/350gm) was let down by being cooked past the requested medium-rare.
A few spud slices topped with three oven-dried cherry tomatoes decoratively accompany both mains, so you’ll likely want a generous bowl of Roasted Pumpkin, Orange Gremolata ($12). It’s an intriguing combination but eventually the doubled-up sweetness of pumpkin and orange wears thin. Grilled Broccolini ($11) works against macadamia and warm pepper vinegar, but their stems want for slightly more cooking.
The solid but pricy wine-list will appeal best to those who like drinking local (NSW) wines. Sneakily passed off as a Murrumbateman (NSW) wine, our chosen 2014 Lark Hill Chardonnay ($85) actually comes from Bungendore in the Canberra District. Overly barrel tainted, our off-kilter bottle was quickly and smoothly replaced by a similarly priced 2014 Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay ($80) by the savvy sommelier.
His selection carried us through to the Stockroom’s Lemon Meringue Mille Feuille ($14) – sadly an over-engineered feat to eat, with slabs of darkened gingerbread dominating its flavour.
See a previous review of Stockroom here: http://missdissent.livejournal.com/543170.html
InterContinental Double Bay, 33 Cross Street, Double Bay
Ph: (02) 8388 8388