Like many a business traveller I used to dread the hotel dining room. Normally the province of the jetlagged, the over-worked, the lazy or those trapped in remote locations. With some notable exceptions, these restaurants often provided food and service based on the fact you clearly had no other choice. Pei Modern at the Four Seasons proves that for Sydney at least, those days are well and truly over.
Pei Modern is Mark Best (Marque in Surry Hills) and executive chef Matt Germanchis’ elegant and contemporary space in the Four Seasons Hotel. The raised ground floor space has a buzzy atmosphere with a mix of local and visiting dinners. Wooden tables and comfortable chairs are complemented by a view of the open kitchen. Five star service comes as standard in many hotel restaurants and Pei Modern is no exception with a knowledgeable floor staff adding to the dining experience, in particular with their choice of wines. Attention to detail is obvious in many ways but of note are the 9.47 Perceval knives. Famously Perceval folding knives are given to French boys and in the past, this knife was an indispensable tool for shepherds, farmers or craftsmen. With such a heritage it is not surprising, the 9.47, re-imagined for dining, both cuts well and feels good to hold.
Now to the food. Pei Modern’s chefs deliver up a diverse and enticing menu and with one of the standouts being the chicken parfait doughnut, a fabulous entrée that could almost be a meal in itself. I also enjoyed the beetroot, winter radicchio and, blood orange salad which had a palate cleansing freshness you don’t always get in winter salads. But whatever you do leave room for the casarecce with chicken dumplings in a parmesan reggiano dressing that is rich, plate-lickingly good and quite rightly one of the house specials. To finish, wood-oven honey madeleines with orange marmalade were a warm, comforting and downright scrummy end to the meal.
Address: Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George Street, Sydney | Web: www.peimodern.com.au