The Metro Aspire hotel is close to busy Darling Harbour and a short walk to the Sydney CBD and Ultimo. Inside the hotel is an oasis of calm where you can find Gumtree Restaurant. Their recently released summer menu, offers simple and delicious Modern Australian cuisine, using fresh local produce with a nod towards paddock to plate. Most of the produce is sourced locally - fresh seafood from the Pyrmont Fish Markets and fruit and vegetables from Flemington Markets.
Gumtree Restaurant - Metro Aspire Hotel
Our booking was for dinner on a Saturday evening. We chose to drive from the Northern Beaches as complimentary parking is offered under the hotel. The entrance to the restaurant is just past the hotel reception. We were greeted warmly by Victor. He immediately showed us to a lovely table in the Atrium area and offered us pre-dinner drinks while we looked at the menu.
To one side of the restaurant is a lounge bar which is ideal for pre-lunch or dinner drinks. Abstract metal piping forms a mural of light with exposed bulbs glowing at each end, creating a wow factor. The subdued amber lighting sheds an intimate glow over the muted turquoise and burgundy furnishing inviting you to relax.
Gumtree Restaurant Bar - image credit: Seafarrwide
The atrium dining area almost felt like a greenhouse. Filled with hanging plants and the outer wall contains several plants that are nurtured with mist and running water cascading from over the glass roof.
Gumtree Restaurant - image credit: Seafarrwide
We sat back and breathed in the oxygenated air while listening to the trickling water. Closing our eyes, we began to forget the stress of our busy day.
Victor our waiter was earnest in his attention and very friendly. He explained the menu and discussed the wines. We started with a glass of Block 50 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon which came out in a chilled glass. The wine is reasonably priced at $6.50 per glass. I could see how this pricing would be attractive to the corporate guest on a tight daily budget or any of the local Universities or TAFE students from the area.
Our starters arrived and they looked colourful and enticing.
We didn't have to wait long before our mains arrived. On seeing the generous serving size, we almost wished we had waited longer.
My partner ordered a glass of Block 50 Cabernet Sauvignon to have with his main of grain-fed Sirloin served on a bed of garlic mash, asparagus, slow roasted tomatoes and a generous serve of mushroom ragout.
The Sirloin steak was chargrilled and perfectly cooked to order. Less is more when cooking steamed vegetables and this was the case with the accompanying vegetables. The chef had managed to retain a crunchy texture which went well with the plump slow roasted tomatoes. Slightly overgenerous with the ragout but this did add flavour to the Sirloin. If you were wishing for a hearty meat dish, then you would be happy with the serving size.
I ordered a Chardonnay to pair with my Grilled Barramundi, $24.90), out came another generous serving. The fish fillet was ample size and the skin had a nice crispy finish. Unfortunately, the fillet's flavour was slightly muddy. This was counteracted by mixing in some of the baba ganoush and bed of smashed minted pea and fennel puree.
Dessert special of the day, Steamed plum pudding with custard.
Image credit - Seafarrwide
Image credit - Seafarrwide
Both desserts were presented beautifully but after such large mains, we both struggled to finish. In our opinions, our meals made us think a little of home cooking. Those guests that wanted to avoid eating rich restaurant food or were craving a large main, would likely treasure the dishes offered on the Gumtree restaurant menu.
We had a lovely evening and enjoyed exceptional service and a gorgeous ambience with the waterfall effect.
Image credit - Seafarrwide
The Gumtree Summer menu offers other popular staples including charred grain fed Riverina scotch fillet, local market fish, southern-fried chicken schnitzel, and a delicious variety of pizzas suitable for vegetarians and chilli lovers. For curry-lovers, there is an authentic Massaman lamb curry with jasmine rice and naan bread.
The restaurant has also introduced more affordable $15 dinner specials, which change daily and include a Gumtree lager. Each night, a different dish is on special, including tempura-battered john dory with chips, fettuccine carbonara with baby spinach, cheese and egg burger with chips, penne with meatballs and fresh tomato & basil, southern fried chicken schnitzel, coleslaw and chips, two pizzas for the price of one, and roast of the day with baked vegetables.
Gumtree restaurant is also making it easy and affordable for local businesses to host their office Christmas or end of year parties in style, with a great value all-inclusive Corporate Christmas package for Christmas functions with a minimum of 25 people and a separate Christmas Party Package for a minimum of 50 people.
For just $45 per person, the Corporate Christmas Package includes exclusive use of Gumtree Restaurant, a glass of bubbly on arrival, a Christmas-themed buffet lunch, and complimentary audio visual equipment, including microphone, speaker, projector and screen. Three complimentary parking spaces are included on the day of the event.
From $69 per person, the Christmas Party Package includes gourmet finger food platters to start, Christmas buffet lunch or dinner with a two-hour house beverage package in a function room with full Christmas decoration. Complimentary audio-visual equipment and three free parking spaces are available on the day of the event.
Gumtree Restaurant is part of Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney, part of the Metro Hospitality Group.
Located at 383-389 Bulwara Road, Ultimo, at the north western end of Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct.
The Restaurant is open 6pm 10pm, seven days a week.
To book a table, call (02) 9211 1499.
For more information on Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney visit www.metrohotels.com.au/gumtree.