With misty white clouds and a fine spray of drizzle blanketing the city, the spectacular view from the fourth level of the Australian Museum was mostly obscured on the day I dined.
Yet even the vague outline of the twin spires of St Mary’s Cathedral juxtaposed against a ghostly collection of city towers was enough to get some cameras snapping; and for everyone else, there was wine.
While the temptation to bury my sorrows in a glass of Wild One Chardonnay ($8) and wait out this miserable weather was high; the light-filled, airy surrounds of No.1 William Street are a hard place to be miserable in, whatever the weather throws at you.
Dining with a girlfriend keen to eat healthy food, we share two different salads. Roast Heirloom Beets Salad ($12.50/small) teams purple and golden roasted beets with a scattering of blue lentils, goat’s curd and a tangle of leaves that included pretty red-veined, sorrel leaves.
Roast vegetables were also the feature in our Roast Queensland Blue Pumpkin Salad ($14.00/small) with thin slices of skin-on blue pumpkin teamed with sheep milk feta, pine nuts, red onion and warrigul greens.
Samphire, a tasty beach plant, scrubbed up particularly nicely in the Seared Barramundi ($24), with a generous portion of crisp-skinned fish propped up on prawn and bacon mash in a frothy lake of citrus beurre blanc.
As you'd expect in a venue inside a museum, there's an extensive children's menu and smaller guests are present in considerable numbers.
However with the sheer size of this space, and good table separation, my girlfriend and I felt inclined to linger and take our time with the generously propotioned Australian Cheese Selection ($18.50). By the time we left, we had gotten some glimpses of what would be a wonderful Hyde Park, Sydney Harbour and William Street view.
By the way, if you're just coming up to No. 1 William for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, you don't need to join the ticket queue! Just by pass the queue and head straight for the lift in the Crystal Hall.
No. 1 William
Australian Museum, Level 4, 1 William Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9320 6321