SIROCCO is the in-house restaurant at the Holiday Inn Potts Point. Although an in-house venue of the hotel, where all guests dine in the evening, they are fully open to the public. I wasn’t expecting much from the place but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the venue itself.
The venue is located on the ground floor of the Holiday Inn at the start of Victoria Street, nearly opposite the Coke sign. It has recently undergone an internal renovation, menu change and general rebirthing. They have a giant six metre antique recreated map of Sydney on one wall and a few pieces of Sydney-inspired art on the walls. The place is bright, comfortable and enjoyable. There is a bar island at the entry and a mix of table seating, bar-stool table seating and more relaxed lounge chair dining more suited to drinks and desserts. It has been designed to accomodate guests of all ages, as well as accommodating outside visitors like myself.
The venue has an open kitchen, incredibly attentive staff and an outdoor section that is not lit. It had a few smokers and people having a quiet beverage in more sombre lighting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the outdoor area being at the entry as my first intro before walking in the door was a giant inhalation of cigarette smoke from an old codger hugging a beer. But this was quickly forgotten when I met the staff and sat at my table, a non-smoking old codger now hugging a wine haha.
THE HONEY STORY:
Hotel management took us on a tour of the hotel before entrees and we got to look at one of the penthouse rooms. The decor is adequate but not as up-to-date as the Sirocco, but the view – that is out of this world. Full Harbour Bridge and city skyline views. Would be a cheaper and more fun option, with a loved one, for a New Year’s eve of watching fireworks and making the love stuff haha.
But the coolest thing I learned about Sirocco and the Holiday Inn Potts point. They have bee hives on the roof that make enough honey to service their entire kitchen and to make jars for gifts and desserts. I was given a bottle as a gift and ate dessert made with the honey and holy cow – it was a perfect honey. Sweet and flavoursome. I loved it – before they had stopped explaining the story my lid was off and I was finger dipping. I love honey and to see a hotel chain making their own honey and housing so many bees in the CBD was impressive. Apparently there are quite a few CBD roofs covered in hives. I love this secret society of beekeepers on the roofs like Batman haha.
SIROCCO NEW MENU:
The new menu incorporates a lot of the old but a damn excellent selection of new. It also still maintains its kids under twelve eat free and they have meal specials on nearly every night. The food ranges from bakery, soups, pizza, pasta, risotto, salads, great entrees, grill, burgers and sandwiches, share plates, impressive mains and delightful desserts. And don’t get me started on the alcohol menu – it’s good!
This kids’ menu has been developed in partnership with Nutrition Australia, so that options are not only delicious, they also offer less added salt, sugar and fat meals for younger diners.
The menu overhaul has been inspired by a classic international bistro experience, and now includes a range of seasonal comfort foods including ‘build-your-own burgers’. Diners can decide on everything from the range of gourmet buns, mouth-watering ingredients and condiments to create their own burger concept. My selection is down the bottom of the article.
WHAT WE ATE:
1. Crispy fried salt & pepper calamari w/ chilli sea salt, sriracha mayonnaise & micro greens
2. Roasted & pickled baby beetroot, basil infused sweet potato w/ bocconcini, baby spinach, lentil sprouts, quinoa, caramelised walnuts & vincotto
3. Marinated fried chicken drumsticks w/ sweet cornbread, baby rocket & jalapeno aioli
4. Grain-fed beef burger w/ smokey bacon, cheese, salad & tomato pickles, fried egg & bbq sauce on toasted brioche bun
5. Grilled chicken burger w/ jalapenos, roasted peppers, tasty cheese, lettuce, onions, mayonnaise & chilli relish on toasted brioche bun
6. Grilled atlantic salmon w/ cauliflower puree, braised baby fennel, grilled asparagus, baby capers, roasted red peppers & preserved lemon oil
7. Slow cooked rosemary & garlic infused lamb shanks w/ creamy mash, green beans & red wine jus
8. Char-grilled grain-fed 220g scotch steak w/ gratin potato, rooftop honey glazed baby carrots & creamy peppercorn sauce
9. Homemade baileys crème brulee w/ blueberry jam & macadamia nut ice cream
10. Rooftop honey panacotta w/ fresh berry compote & caramelised fig ice cream
THOUGHTS ON ENTREES:
I was so hungry when we got the salt and pepper calamari that I basically inhaled it all. The sriracha mayo was a great addition as I could drink the stuff from the bottle. The beetroot salad was Joseph, one of my dining partner’s, fave dishes – I love beetroot and enjoyed the dish and all the flavours but felt it was overshadowed by all the protein dishes. The drumsticks were a definite favourite of mine. The crispiness on the batter was flawless, the chicken cooked to perfection and jalapeño aioli was drool worthy.
THOUGHTS ON MAINS:
Firstly, the burgers, I never expect burgers from anything but a burger outlet, that specialises in them, to be impressive. But my mind was changed – both these burgers were delicious and I would eat them both again. The spiciness of the chicken burger won out for me out of the two but the BBQ sauce and beef patty was bloody impressive. Also, I am a massive fan of the old Aussie burger and putting an egg on a burger ticks boxes for me, I loved it.
My favourite dish of the night was the Grilled Atlantic Salmon – something I would usually never order. But I loved the serving of this and all the ingredients came together for a perfectly balanced meal. Superb dish.
The last main was two mains served together on a large platter. I regularly complain that ribs are drowned in sauce and I can’t taste the meat over the sugar so I truly loved the slow cooked rosemary & garlic infused lamb shanks. Funny thing was one of my other dining partners, Jen, said there wasn’t enough sauce for her. But I loved them and could happily suck the meat off the bone. These would be some of the better ribs I have had in Sydney but I am no rib connoisseur, Jen is a BBQ Meat judge. I put it down to personal taste.
The one negative…..
Unfortunately the Char Grilled steak was very dry, I have given the venue feedback on this and please note we were there as a trial run of the new menu before it launches to the public. We also take photos of all the dishes so the delay in eating could also account for some of the dryness but the venue is looking into it. The accompanying veg with the steak was bloody awesome however and I got as many into me as I could.
THOUGHTS ON DESSERT:
Just as I took the belt out one notch out came the desserts. To accompany dessert our wait person offered us an Eden Valley Heggies Botrytis Riesling – a bottle I am trying to locate for home. It was a perfect dessert wine and if I wasn’t driving I would have downed the entire thing.
The house made Bailey’s creme brûlée was perfection in flavour but lacked a decent top. None of us could get a decent cracking shot/video/boomerang for social media. The difference in flavour however was impressive. The table was split on the macadamia ice-cream. I wasn’t a fan – I can see it would be popular with international guests but for all those flavours on the plate a nice coffee ice cream would be preferred for me. And Sirocco needs an affogato on the menu to assist my addiction.
The rooftop honey panacotta won the meal for me. The honey flavouring was next level delicious. A unique and sweet sensation made all the more impressive because it was made with honey they themselves have harvested from their own rooftop hives. I am still so impressed by this.
BUILD YOUR OWN BURGER:
Bare with me, I know this is a long review but still more to talk about. You should have seen the first draft! SIROCCO has launched their new Build Your Own Burger option and I hope it takes off for them. It works well with Maccas and I like what they are doing with burgers. There are seven steps to build a burger and I plan on returning to feast on my creation.
You pick a patty (6 choices), a bun type (7 choices), a side (5), a cheese (6), a sauce (9 choices!), then extras (9 of these also at a $1 each) and then eight choices of free toppings.
My selection for my first build-my-own is:
Angus Beef on brioche, sweet spud fries, American cheese (they need to add a blue cheese option), Bourbon BBQ sauce with fried egg, crispy bacon, caramelised onions, avocado and beetroot, then from the free toppings; jalapeños, sliced red onion and rocket. It shall be known as the Spooning Spesh!!!
I am thoroughly impressed by Sirocco, it greatly exceeded expectations as an in-house Hotel Restaurant that is also open to the public. I am unsure if I would regular the place with so many delectable restaurants in the area but it would be ideal for business meetings and perfect for families if in the area, guests staying at the hotel are in for a treat. However, I will definitely be back to build-my-own burger and to devour that panacotta again. I may also need to persuade the venue to sell me jars of their honey because it’s so bloody awesome.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 0/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Sirocco at the Holiday Inn Deets:
PH: (02) 9368 4000
203 Victoria Street Potts Point Sydney
Breakfast Menu: Available 7 days, 630am – 10am
Lunch Menu: Available 7 days, from 11am
Dinner Menu: Available 7 days, 6pm – 10pm
TAKEAWAY: No – Room Service I would Assume
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.