PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
With the explosion of growth in the Norwest business precinct, the arrival of a hotel of Crowne Plaza's standing proved to be a much-needed asset to the area. And with the Crowne's opening came another invaluable addition: a relatively plush fine diner, capable of taking on big functions, with good service, a flexible menu and a decent selection of wines.
The Whispers dining room has a formal air, a well-dressed space with aubergine walls and stately oil paintings. Outside things are more casual, with patio chairs overlooking the pool. The menu is a broad sampling of international cuisine, leaning towards Italian and Asian flavours. There's a breakfast buffet that's popular with locals on weekends, but Whispers does its most brisk trade during weekday lunches. The $25 business lunch gets you three courses and a glass of wine. Come dinner the menu is surprisingly inventive. Starters could include teriyaki ocean trout on green mango, paw paw and coconut salad with nam jim; and salmon gravlax with celeriac and gazpacho dressing and avocado cream. Mains run from a barramundi fillet poached in traditional bouillabaisse to "from the grill" selections including Grainge beef fillet and Javanese marinated chicken on Sardinian cous cous. For fine dining in the Hills, Whispers is a reliable choice. For a laid back yet efficient business lunch, it's a sure bet.