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Monday, March 11, 2013

Galileo Restaurant at The Langham, Sydney

strawberry soup at the langham galileo restaurant sydney

The Observatory Hotel is no more, replaced by The Langham, Sydney. Apart from the new sign out the front, things look much the same inside, with The Globe Bar and the Galileo Restaurant remaining unchanged in name.

Head Chef Anthony Craven's menu at Galileo is described as modern Australian although there are distinct French influences throughout. Patrons can choose to order from the a la carte menu (mains $37-$51) or partake in the 8-course degustation for $110. A vegetarian degustation - including onsen egg and cauliflower steak - is available for $95.

dining room at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Galileo dining room

It's quiet and subdued in the dining room, dark and stately with wood panelling, chandeliers and heavy antique furniture. The crowd is mostly couples or small groups of friends, with a large contingent of Japanese businessmen occupying one table.

smoked oyster amuse bouche at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Amuse bouche: smoked oyster on pickled cabbage

We've opted for the degustation tonight and proceedings commence quickly with the amuse bouche. The smoked oyster is perhaps a touch too chilled to fully appreciate its flavour, served on a bed of pickled cabbage that is reminiscent of sauerkraut.

balmain bug and ocean trout at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Balmain bug and ocean trout with cucumber puree and duck prosciutto 

Course number two is a pretty arrangement of colours and textures, from the plump pillow of buttery ocean trout to the sweet curl of Balmain bug and paper thin slices of beetroot. I'm intrigued most by the duck prosciutto but it's presented as a crumbled salty soil rather than a fatty sheath.

seared yellow fin tuna at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Seared yellow fin tuna with tamarillo chutney, crispy shallot and lemon oil jus

A painted orb of lemon oil jus makes our next dish look just like a fried egg, served on an impressively large plate with a recessed centre. The yellow fin tuna is served two ways - as a clean tuna tartare and seared with crispy shallots as a garnish. A single brussel sprout leaf is a pretty cup for a dark sticky sauce, but it's hard to work out how this dish is meant to be eaten. I make a mistake by eating the three mounds separately, hitting the intense tamarillo chutney last.

barramundi at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Barramundi with mussel, butter lettuce veloute and croutons

Barramundi is perfectly cooked, if a little over-seasoned, with the flesh flaking apart with the touch of a fork. The butter lettuce veloute is rich and silky.

strawberry granita at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Intermediaire: Strawberry granita

Shot glasses of strawberry granita offer a welcome palate cleanser before the main course. The granita is balanced in sweetness with fine ice crystals.

tajima beef tenderloin at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Tajima beef tenderloin with heirloom tomato, piquillo pepper, olive tapenade and natural jus

Tajima is a specific bloodline of Japanese wagyu, heavy in marbling. The tenderloin offers a rewarding mouthful of tender juicy beef, offset by heirloom tomato, sweet piquillo pepper, asparagus, a whole roasted garlic clove and dots of salty olive tapenade.

cheese plate at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Optional cheese plate $10 supplement

We end up sharing the optional cheese plate, trio of cheeses that includes a Woodside brie, roquefort and what's described as 'a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands'. It comes with a wedge of quince paste, red grapes, dried muscatels, pistachios and an assortment of lavosh and bread sticks.

strawberry soup at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Strawberry soup with basil sorbet and vanilla panna cotta 

There's an element of theatre with the strawberry soup, which is poured at the table by our waiter. It washes over a bowl of berries, and islands of basil sorbet and vanilla panna cotta. The strawberry soup is sweet and refreshing. A shard of meringue sprinkled with strawberry dust escapes the tide to maintain its crispness.

pain perdu at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Pain perdu with rhubarb compote and Pedro Ximenez ice cream

Our final dessert is the pain perdu, an eggy French toast made with brioche that is equal parts crunch and squidginess. Pedro Ximenez ice cream has a underlying alcoholic hit and dollops of rhubarb compote provide a balance of acidity.

petit fours at the langham galileo restaurant sydney
Complimentary petit fours birthday platter

We're celebrating the Man in Black's birthday tonight and we're surprised with a complimentary petit fours platter, assembled by the kitchen when they'd gotten wind of the occasion. It's a thoughtful gesture, and a sweet finish to the evening.


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Galileo Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Galileo Restaurant at The Langham, Sydney
89-113 Kent Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9256 2222

Opening hours:
Breakfast daily 6.30am-10.30am
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6.30pm-10pm
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/11/2013 02:33:00 am


  • At 3/11/2013 8:08 am, Anonymous Andrea @ EatTravelBliss said…

    It all looks good, but I'd particularly like to try the Balmain bug dish, with the combination of flavours and textures. The degustation is the way to go, to try the variety of dishes. I wonder what their breakfasts are like - will have to check online.

  • At 3/11/2013 9:08 am, Anonymous Amanda said…

    How sweet of them to prepare a little something for a special occasion! Rockpool did that for my birthday (a little chocolate cake in a spun sugar tower) and it really makes you feel special, and adds something to the night!

  • At 3/11/2013 10:14 am, Blogger Milktea Eats said…

    this place looks amazing! i love the look of the strawberry soup and the petit fours plate!

  • At 3/11/2013 10:17 am, Blogger Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said…

    Aw it's always nice when they notice you're celebrating a special occasion and surprise you. Great photos of the food as always!

  • At 3/11/2013 10:29 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    It's fascinating how these dishes can be both so complex yet so "clean" looking, aesthetically, at the same time. Gorgeous.

  • At 3/11/2013 12:07 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    Wow, what a classy setting, with elegant food to match.

  • At 3/11/2013 12:58 pm, Anonymous Eha said…

    Love the place, love the room, not particularly thrilled by the look of the food or the plating . . .to each their own!

  • At 3/11/2013 3:04 pm, Anonymous Kelly @ MsBrulee said…

    Everything looks absolutely divine! Happy belated birthday to the man in black!

  • At 3/11/2013 3:45 pm, Anonymous Lee said…

    I didn't realise the Langham had realised the Observatory. The strawberry soup sounds amazing!

  • At 3/11/2013 4:36 pm, Anonymous Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said…

    Ooh I have my eye on that pan perdue! What a lovely, pretty meal!

  • At 3/11/2013 9:50 pm, Blogger thesuzchef said…

    You take such fabulous pictures, makes everything look so appealing!

    I hadn't realised the observatory had changed branding. $110 for a 8 course deg isn't bad value at all, especially with such top notch dishes & service & setting. The petit fours platter looks fantastic!

  • At 3/13/2013 12:52 pm, Blogger Vivian - vxdollface said…

    The petit fours look so dainty and divine ^^ quite reasonable price for a degustation too!

  • At 3/13/2013 4:26 pm, Anonymous Iron Chef Shellie said…

    That place looks freaking amazing. I don't know what I want to try more... must remember for next time!

  • At 3/13/2013 6:03 pm, Blogger missklicious said…

    The food looks amazing here! It's always nice when they do something nice for a special occasion :)

  • At 3/15/2013 12:14 am, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    Nice to see since it has become the Langham that they kept the charm of the place. Interesting they charge less for the vegetarian degustation.

  • At 3/17/2013 9:55 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I love your photos Helen! The close up and attention to the detail of all the dishes. Can't wait to check this place out and then hopefully one day compare it to the one in HK.

  • At 3/18/2013 10:36 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Looks great Helen - interested as to whether you tried it when it was the Observatory and how it differed? The Langham in Melbourne has a very high standard of dining so I would expect the same - looks like it delivered.


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