Located on level 1 of Intercontinental Sydney.DETAILS
Set in breathtaking 19th Century architecture, Cafe Opera undoubtedly forms the perfect venue for any occasion. Enjoy a truly unique, seasonally inspired, interactive buffet with live cooking stations and theatrical dessert displays. Tamas Pamer, Executive Head Chef, comments, “We change the buffet daily to ensure we only use the freshest ingredients”. Cafe Opera’s team of committed chefs are dedicated in the search for the freshest ingredients available in Sydney’s local markets. As well as an exquisite buffet, the restaurant also offers a creative French-inspired à la carte menu. Tamas Pamer and Executive Sous Chef, Julien Pouteau have drawn on their experiences working in Michelin Star restaurants across Europe to produce a unique and contemporary styled menu to tickle anyone’s taste buds.
The restaurant offers a series of rich, colourful, bold and exciting spaces, with careful consideration given to both a la carte and buffet dining experiences. The tableau of design elements - from the over-scaled five-metre-long camelback sofa, antique mirrors and European patisserie down to the market-style chalkboard buffet labels – immediately communicate a departure from traditional hotel dining. Cafe Opera also provides an intimate dining experience with the Tasting and Rotunda rooms, both offer beautiful venues for those special events. The restaurant also offers an alfresco dining court within Intercontinental Sydney’s historic 1851 sandstone arcades. LUNCH BUFFET
Monday to Saturday $55 per adult, $30 per child
Sunday $70 per adult, $40 per child, includes endless sparkling wine for adults and soft drinks for children. DINNER BUFFET
Sunday to Thursday $65 per adult, $45 per child
Friday and Saturday $90 per adult, $45 per child
(Children, 5-12 years) PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Walking through the entrance of the Intercontinental Hotel, one cannot ignore the history that this building is steeped in. Built around the restored Treasury Building of 1851, the hotel is a dynamic mix of tradition and modernity. Three tiers of sandstone arcades create a soaring atrium that, tonight, are beautifully illuminated, creating an atmospheric and moody surrounding. Slender women in ballgowns delicately rearrange their styled hair while sipping champagne (Veuve Clicquot, I’m sure) in the hotel lobby and I’m suddenly conscious of my somewhat un-ballgown-esque attire. But, fortunately, I’m quickly assured that they are attending an upstairs charity ball and that I am most adequately dressed. Phew.
As I wait for the lift to go to Cafe Opera, I’m mesmerized by the opulence of the hotel building and on entering Cafe Opera, I’m not disappointed. Antique mirrors, marble flooring and high ceilings are in keeping with the hotel’s luxurious vibe. This, combined with customer service that in today’s world I thought was purely reserved for royalty, conjures thoughts of an era when people took time to dine. When a meal wasn’t simply a process of feeding a hungry tummy. But modern touches, such as the market-style chalkboard with handwritten buffet specials and the live cooking stations, remind me that, yes, we are in the 21st century. But these are not unwelcome reminders - especially after sampling grilled lobster, which charming young chefs cook right in front of you.
Catching glimpses of Sydney Rock oysters, Crystal Bay prawns and Balmain Bug, I don’t hesitate in selecting for the buffet entree. I must admit, I’m the first person to turn my nose up at a buffet-style restaurant but this cannot even be considered in such a category. Diners peruse the stainless-steel food stations, scrutinising over salmon sashimi, slow roasted shoulders of lamb and steamed scallops. The food is presented immaculately and waiters flutter around like angels, clearing plates and suggesting wines and dish combinations. The French inspired a la carte menu is fine-dining on every level. The pan-seared line-caught barramundi is perfectly seasoned and while the fillet is small, it’s still moist and succulent. Organic glazed carrots perch on top of the fish and a sophisticated mussel emulsion presented in the form of an aerated mousse takes the dish to another level. My only complaint is that my stomach isn’t as big as my eyes.