Friday, December 19, 2008

There’s Monet…there’s Whiteley…there’s Lunch!

I visit the Art Gallery of NSW on an irregular basis, usually when there’s an exhibition on, or for the annual Archibald prize. I’m not sure why I don’t go more often, as entry to the Gallery is free, and it’s quite a cool oasis on a warm day, as long as there aren’t hordes of school kids on an excursion.

Last time I dined at the Art Gallery Restaurant was for a colleague’s farewell, and I remember the food and setting being pretty nice. So I suggested it as the venue for
Lin Mei’s birthday lunch.

The Restaurant is on the entry level of the Art Gallery, with a more casual café located on the lower level below. It has big plate glass windows overlooking Woolloomoolloo and the Finger Wharf, and it’s very light and airy, though noisy when it’s filled with lunching ladies and business types. LM and I, as ladies of leisure at the moment, fitted right in.

LM ordered the sirloin steak and I had the veal (each $30). The steak was perfectly cooked to med-med rare with a creamy mashed potato accompaniment. My veal was wrapped in jambon ham and was melt in the mouth. And it came with a scrumptious slice of vegetable galette.

I was going to have a mango terrine for dessert until I noticed an amazing-looking citrus dish at the next table, so I changed my mind. The citrus salad ($15) consisted of orange and grapefruit segments and it was topped with a refreshing granita and a very minty sorbet. I’m not a huge fan of bitter citrus and this was a bit bitter (or, it had bitter bits – try saying that quickly) but it was okay overall.

The service was efficient and friendly and we had a wonderful time. Oh, and I got LM a box of macarons from Adriano Zumbo. In return, she gave me a belated birthday gift of a square scallop punch – woohoo, I love punches! We finished off the visit to the Art Gallery by having a peek at my favourite painting, the one by Canaletto of St Mark’s Square in Venice. Good stuff.


  1. wow, that steak looks good! and i don't even feel that way about steak.

    i've been curious about the restaurant for a while, and your post has kicked it up a notch to being curious about who i can make come along with me. ;)

  2. hi bowb - it was all good. We felt very posh sitting there having a long lunch. In fact, LM and I looked around and commented "don't these people have jobs to go to?".
    And I'm free anytime for lunch...!