I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published February 22nd 2019
Exceptional food, brilliant service and dazzling views
Our evening was memorable from the moment we entered The Ternary to the time we left. The Ternary, located inside the Novotel Darling Harbour, is an airy welcoming restaurant with three distinct areas - the Grill Kitchen, Asian Kitchen and the Wine Bar - fusing into one large complementary space. This outstanding eatery has glass-walled interiors staging extraordinary views from Darling Harbour across to Sydney City. This splendid establishment with its modern eclectic decor, colourful hanging lanterns, impeccable service combined with a jovial manner, plus mouth-watering dishes, was pure bliss.
We were ushered to our seating which surrounded the Grill Kitchen to observe the expertise of chefs searing tomahawk steaks, preparing twice cooked pork belly and flipping fiery contents in the pans. It was an engaging experience to be part of this show, to see a team working well together and being involved in conversation with other patrons who return time and again. Their faces are so familiar to the chefs, they are like old friends greeting one another, resuming conversations after an absence, with smiles and good-natured banter. Diners can choose to sit around the Grill area or at tables overlooking the City but my partner and I enjoyed the round circle repartee. Food does indeed create shared conversation, important social connections which feed the soul.
Our dining experience began with the Cocktail of the Month, Mi Amor, featuring four pillars shiraz gin, rose syrup, dolin vermouth and fresh lime. It is described as "the martini that will set the mood" and it fulfilled its mission beautifully.
Our wonderful chef, Lukasz, suggested a shared meal with a variety of dishes. Their homemade garlic naan bread with a cucumber, mint and chutney dip was a wonderful start to our eating pleasure. We tucked into the chicken dim sims next and my partner exclaimed that "these are the best dim sims I have tasted." How true this was. The four dim sims were moist and delicious and the accompanying ginger, shallot and garlic dipping sauce was extremely tasty.
While we observed the next meal skilfully brought to edible life, our second order of drinks arrived. My partner drank the Crabtree Hilltop Riesling, a nice drop from the Clare Valley and I chose the Pink Flamingo mocktail, a wonderful mix of watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, cranberry juice and soda with the addition of the environmentally-friendly straw which was impressive.
The pulled pepper beef in crispy pastry has been a signature dish at The Ternary since its inception, created by Executive Chef, Anthony Flowers. It is easy to see the popularity of this dish with its moist beef, water chestnuts and tamarind jam enclosed with a crunchy pastry. Sensational.
As if these wonderful dishes were not enough, the tandoori lamb cutlets arrived front and centre, resting on top of beetroot puree. These melt in the mouth tender offerings were the best lamb cutlets we had devoured. We revelled in these moist gifts cooked to perfection. On our next outing to The Ternary, these charmers will be on our 'hit list'.
Our dining experience did not stop here. The Ternary's version of the Surf and Turf arrived in the form of a beautifully sliced sirloin steak revealing juicy pink flesh and a large Balmain bug split open which my partner and I quickly scooped the flesh onto our plates. Four pots containing sauces were neatly deposited which we dispensed over our meals. The garlic butter sauce was delicious with the Balmain bug and the red wine jus poured over the steak was lovely. My partner enjoyed the mushroom jus over his steak and I dunked some of the sliced steaks in the peppercorn jus which was delicious.
After such an exemplary meal, the piece de resistance arrived with a piped message, "Welcome to The Ternary". The Dark Chocolate Tart was absolutely delightful with a chocolate crumb base, chocolate mousse sitting on top and shiny chocolate ganache on the top level. The standout, though, came in the form of a stunning cocktail glass complete with mango and white chocolate mousse, tiny passionfruit jelly pieces, pistachio ice cream and glistening brick pastry wafers sprinkled with sugar. This creation, called Mango Delight, was crafted by Joya, another amazing chef at the Grill Kitchen. The Mango Delight was a to-die-for dessert, silky smooth mousse mixed with the tang of passionfruit jelly. Dipping this mix into the ice cream quenelle was a captivating experience for the taste buds. The raspberry sorbet, waiting in anticipation to be scooped, was delightfully tangy and refreshing. With the addition of raspberries, choc dipped strawberries and pistachios scattered around the platter, the fusion of colours and flavours produced a showstopper.
This is one place I will definitely return to. The excellent service, extraordinary food and fabulous views. If it's just wine and cocktails you're after, there is a large space near the Wine Bar with an open fireplace surrounded with comfy couches and chairs which patrons can sit and watch the sunset over the city or the fireworks every Saturday night.