Humble and elegant, classy and peaceful. Welcome to The Crane. This is a place where the well-heeled go to actually enjoy themselves, rather than to be seen, as would be the case at nearby Hugo's. Competing for the trendy and eloquent clientele of its larger neighbour, The Crane avoids the usual in-your-face, lavish vulgarity that characterise most other "classy" places in the Cross. Instead, the decorum and ambience at The Crane provide that perfect and elusive mixture of prestigious, yet humble atmosphere.
My date and I were treated to impeccable service at the door, by the wait staff, by the most stylish gentleman I'd seen all night (who introduced himself personally as The Crane's Sales & Events Manager before offering us his precision wine expertise), and finally by the chefs, who went out of their way to satisfy my cravings for a lunchtime menu item, despite our 9pm arrival.
This was the Thursday lunch special, word of which had travelled far and wide – a cheese-and-bacon burger ($10) and truffle aioli chips ($5). Venturing across Sydney for such fine fare, I was distraught upon hearing of its "lunchtime only" status, then flattered when the staff made an exception, for no particular reason other than their respect and appreciation for each and every patron.
As a harsh burger critic, a 10/10 is unheard of. Ladies and gentlemen… 10 out of 10. The sauce on this masterpiece tasted like some concoction devised by the food equivalent of NASA, as though decades and billions of dollars of research were invested, involving abstract scientific principles we've never even heard of, nor will we ever comprehend. Long story short, it was boss. Amongst the dozen or so very satisfied sushi and seafood diners, I feasted on my burger and chips, grinning like a child on Christmas.
The actual dinner menu is a more exquisite affair than "burger & chips" – sashimi platters, sushi rolls, Japanese-style wagyu steak, and so forth. As it happened, I found room for some incredible spicy prawn sushi roll as well (with humble pie for dessert - after 30 years of denouncing sushi in all its guises, this little beauty has changed my mind for good).
In spite of its size, The Crane is clearly an "all occasions" venue – whether you're sipping cocktails with a date, enjoying a few frothies at the bar leading into a big night, looking for an affordable yet exotic dinner, planning a 21st birthday, or a family-wide 50th wedding anniversary, The Crane caters at all levels.
A return visit is definitely on the cards – they run an all-you-can-eat buffet on Sundays for just $40. This includes an array of elegant items on their long menu, including spicy prawns, pork gzoya, and Karaage chicken approved by none other than Snoop Dogg himself. Check out the full menu here. This would have to be the best value for indulgence that King's Cross has to offer.