New seafood dining feast at InterContinental Sydney

Landmark Sydney hotel InterContinental Sydney has revamped its dining offering, under the direction of executive chef Jeremy Clark.

The Sydney hotel, in the heart of the CBD and in the former historic Treasury Building of 1851, has relaunched its popular Café Opera with a ‘Land to Sea’ Buffet – available to hotel guests and locals alike.

“A seafood buffet is a must-do dining experience during a harbourside stay in Sydney, or for locals looking for a luxe weekend treat, so we are excited to share our revamped offering with our guests, new and long-standing,” said Jeremy Clark, executive chef, InterContinental Sydney. “We pride ourselves on sourcing the finest and freshest seafood from New South Wales and beyond, and looking forward to showcasing the creativity of the team in the presentation of our cuisine,” he said.

The hotel is currently offering Sydney families in particular a great incentive to escape the cold and indulge in a feast, with adults dining at 20 per cent off and kids under 10 dining free until the end of July.

On a cold Sydney Saturday, I headed into the beautiful hotel – pausing a while before making my way up to Café Opera on level one. The historic lift within the building, the beautiful marble floors and the atrium framed by the historic sandstone structure of what was once the Treasury Building is really worth taking in.

Café Opera has seating outside in the atrium area; and an indoor dining room. Both have their charm, but I really enjoyed our table in the dining area, with a huge window that overlooked more heritage Sydney buildings on Bridge Street. My tip – ask for a window seat when booking. You’ll have not only the views but comfortable velvet banquette seating.

The adults in my party headed for the impressive seafood buffet area where baskets of fresh oysters, prawns, mussels, and sushi were overflowing. On the weekends (from Friday evening until Sunday evening) the chef has organised additional seafood delicacies of Balmain bugs, blue swimmer crab, spanner crab and salmon sashimi.

From the hot food servery, a staff member serves us succulent premium roast pork belly sourced from the Southern Highlands, roast lamb, baked salmon and barramundi in a creamy corn sauce. There is also roasted vegetables and ravioli in a bolognaise sauce.

New seafood dining feast at Intercontinental Sydney
Image: Katrina Holden

My children were delighted with the pork dim sums and of course, the ‘pink’ prawn crackers. If yours are fussy eaters, there’s also the crowd-pleasing battered fish bites, crumbed chicken and hot chips.

A salad counter includes seemingly endless dressings and mustards to accompany fresh salad options; while an artisanal antipasto stand features a number of cheeses, antipasto and white, sourdough and rye breads.

The service was prompt and flowing, with waiters serving drinks at the table and topping up our glasses of Bimbadgen sparkling wine from the Hunter Valley, which is free-flowing on weekend lunch sittings. Finger dipping bowls with water and lemon are already on the tables in anticipation of sticky seafood fingers; as are waste dishes for all the seafood shells.

My kids don’t take long before spotting the dessert bar, which includes a three-tiered chocolate fountain. I get the distinct feeling they are now racing through their main meals in order to hit the sweet spot! I’m enjoying taking in the light-filled room with large spherical lights and green star-patterned wallpaper on the ceiling. Groups around us include other families, friends clearly settling in to make an afternoon of it; and one group of travellers appear to be celebrating a birthday when a small cake with a candle is presented to them.

New seafood dining feast at Intercontinental Sydney
Image: Katrina Holden
New seafood dining feast at Intercontinental Sydney
Image: Katrina Holden

I finally relent and we visit the dessert station. I supervise while skewers of marshmallows are swirled around the vertically flowing chocolate, and added to bowls of lollies and ice cream; while the adults sample pavlova, opera cake, lemon meringue pie, bread and butter pudding, pear and chocolate donut pudding, banana crumble and fruit salad.

Not surprisingly, the kids are pretty full before long (the adults too).  We order peppermint tea, enjoyed by not only me but my Miss 10 and my Mr 6, who I can sense are enjoying the cleansing feeling a cup of herbal tea always magically provides.

New seafood dining feast at Intercontinental Sydney
Image: Katrina Holden

The premium Land to Sea Buffet is available Wednesday to Sunday each week for both lunch and dinner sittings. Weekend lunches include free-flowing sparkling wine and soft drinks. To celebrate the relaunch, Cafe Opera is offering 20% off adults dining (until 31 July 2019) and 20% off dining for seniors (until 31 December 2019). Complimentary dining* for children aged 10 and under will also be offered until 31 July 2019.

Reserve your seat: icsydney.com.au/Cafe-Opera

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