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Winter Menu at radii restaurant & bar - Park Hyatt Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > BYO | Fine Dining | Food and Wine | Romantic
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
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Complimentary valet parking and BYO wine
Reception Park Hyatt Melbourne @nadinecresswellmyatt

Five-star hotel dining has a reputation of being overly expensive and pretentious and why would patrons bother when there is a plethora of competitively priced restaurants out there.

But Melbourne's Park Hyatt is breaking the mould by promoting a new winter dining experience where diners can enjoy affordable luxury. They have achieved this by peeling away the hidden costs of dining out.

The first is the expense and inconvenience of parking in the CBD. Instead, when dining at Park Hyatt's radii restaurant, you receive complimentary valet parking. They have also reinstated an important Melbourne custom: the right to *BYO wine without having to pay corkage fees.

I recently dined at Melbourne's Park Hyatt's radii restaurant and it was a luxurious but comfortable experience focused on winter comfort foods and unpretentious and yet fine dining.

Instead, of navigating the concrete maze of a carpark I drove my little Mazda up the tree-lined driveway that leads to the Park Hyatt. The hotel is tucked away at the Paris-end of Melbourne CBD, off Parliament Place near the Fitzroy Gardens, so you feel as if you had arrived at a grand country estate.

My car door was opened for me and I entrusted my car key into safe hands. There I was under an impressive Portico with Roman-style pillars and only a few steps short of my final destination.

I waited for my dinner companion in reception soaking up the ambience of this impressive hotel.

The five star Park Hyatt appears to pay homage to the luxurious excesses of the Jazz Age. The impressive entrance flows into a stunning lobby that has marble floors, highly polished wooden panelling, a grand-entrance-staircase and a two-floor atrium reminiscent of the luxury ocean liners of bygone years.

Park Hyatt Melbourne
Stunning staircase @nadinecresswellmyatt

I had no idea such an Art -Deco-inspired gem existed in my own city.

At radii restaurant's entrance, we were welcomed and seated by restaurant manager Jozef Uhlarik. Rather than being stiff and formal the snappily dressed, Jozef was fun and chatty as he unfurled the white napkins across our laps.

He was already addressing the issue of our pre-dinner cocktails as it was clear he was dedicated to mixing us just the right one. There was a huge selection on offer but I noticed his eyes lit up when he mentioned radii's signature cocktail.

It has a secret ingredient. Honey! Park Hyatt keeps rooftop beehives produce raw honey for use in radii restaurant and bar.

My signature cocktail was a blend of local Starwood whisky infused with sweetness from the rooftop honeycomb and cut through with the citrus from the oranges. Propped up against my glass was an envelope sealed with the radii insignia and inside was a list of the cocktail ingredients.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Creating the perfect cocktail. Source Facebook Park Hyatt

My cocktail glowed like lava but a sip was like a cooling glacier of sweetness gliding over my taste buds. As Jozef said it is "the perfect aperitif to open the palate and stimulate the appetite."

On our way in Jozef had introduced us to Chef Craig Sung. Guests are highly likely to meet radii's chef and his team as the kitchen radiates downwards from a central food station where Craig and his team openly create your meals.

Craig's first words to me: "I hope you are hungry?".

Craig is from Canada but totally beams when he talks about the local ingredients he is discovering in Australia. "Melbourne has such a fantastic food culture" he said. " I constantly find myself pursuing a deeper knowledge of ingredients, where they come from and how to feature them in my dishes."

Some of the ingredients Craig showcases include sustainably produced Moonlight Flat oysters, locally foraged wild mushrooms and Titania Farm beef where the Angus steers are fed with chestnuts.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Titania Farm beef where the Angus steers are fed with chestnuts bestowing on the beef a sweet and complex taste. @nadinecresswellmyatt

<"Some of our produce is so seasonal we can only list it on our menu for six or so weeks" he said.

We could have ordered a la carte but hearing Craig talk about food, we felt in such good hands that we took up one of his 'Feed Me' options.

Craig Sung
Craig Sung is passionate about our local foods. Image Park Hyatt

This is when Craig and his team craft a series of dishes based on your food preferences, dietary requirements and the very best of seasonal produce. You can choose between the Feed Me a Little option or the Feed me a Lot.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
The bread receiving a toasting in the open fire @nadinecresswellmyatt

We opted for the Feed Me a Little choice but as you will see, this created a bountiful food stream. And because you are sharing the dishes, this results in multiple-courses and a relaxing style of eating that is conducive to good conversation.

Starters included a beautifully presented chicken liver pate with thick slabs of bread toasted in the kitchen's open wood fire.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Sourdough bread and fresh herbs @nadinecresswellmyatt

There seemed a whole school of prawns, dipped in tapioca flour and then fried before being served with a side of garlic aioli. We were treated to Bateman's Bay oysters so fresh that to bite one felt and tasted like a gasp of pure ocean.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Interior radii restaurant @nadinecresswellmyatt

For starters, there was a plate of raw kingfish, a delicacy of pale firm flesh with a sweet, rich flavour. Chef Craig married this with crushed green peas, fresh mint and a burnt sesame dressing. The dish was such a contrast of textures and flavours. Hopefully, you will get to experience it for yourself. Thoroughly recommended.

I am not overly accustomed to raw fish but this dish converted me.
And perhaps this is one of the benefits of handing over the evening's meal choices to a master chef. You can be so pleasantly surprised when you move away from the realms of your normal choices and be led down a new culinary pathway.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
It maybe a cliche but this lamb dish was melt in the mouth tender. @nadinecresswellmyatt

This was followed by a serving of handmade pappardelle made from free range eggs and organic flour tossed through with the rustic nutty flavour of pine mushrooms. The dish was finished off with butter, parsley and freshly grated pecorino.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
The freshest of seasonal mushrooms @nadinecresswellmyatt

Our first shared main was Gippsland grass-fed lamb shoulder on a bed of pomme puree, gremolata (a chopped herb condiment of parsley, lemon zest, garlic and lemon juice) served with compressed cucumber which Craig explained gives 'the dish a more refreshing, earthy flavour.'

The lamb had been marinated and then cooked Sous Vide at 70 Celsius for fourteen hours and was so tender one could cut through it with the side of a fork.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Braised lamb shoulder. Photo Park Hyatt Melbourne.

We then had Titania Farm chestnut fed beef which is a beautifully textured meat with a creamier fat than normal.

Our sides were substantial enough to be the main attractions. There was a canopy of interlinking wood roasted garlic shemiji mushrooms and a French-inspired creamy spinach cooked with a sunny side egg crowning the top. We both fell in love with the rich creaminess of this dish.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
A canopy of mushrooms that are served as a side. @nadinecresswellmyatt

The tabbouleh was emboldened with quarters of small beetroot (another seasonal winter vegetable it seems), the ancient grain farro, lentils, goat's curd and almonds. This side, in particular, cut through the richness of the main meat dishes.

Desserts were a treat as we stood at a counter at the open kitchen and watched Craig as he showed us how he assembled them.

The rhubarb-crème Fraiche cheesecake was served with rhubarb poached in a simple syrup of sugar and water with a hint
of strawberry syrup and cinnamon streusel and a rhubarb sorbet.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
'Rhubarb is like the strawberries of winter' says Craig Sung as he plates our cheesecake.@nadinecresswellmyatt

Instead of being a heavy American style cheesecake this creation was light and frothy. "Rhubarb is like the strawberries of winter" Craig said as he decked this snow white creation with a rouge of rhubarb sorbet.

radii has an open wood-burning oven that gives a feeling of winter warmth and well being. Craig uses it to not only toast the bread but add certain flavours to meats. Our lamb, for example, was finished off with a cherry flavoured wood disc for a nice smoky finish. He also uses the fire for some of his desserts.

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
The finishing touches of our apple pie are done over the open fire @nadinecresswellmyatt

He spoke openly about his childhood love of apple pie and how he uses the open oven with ironbark wood to give it a subtle smoky flavour.

"I grew up eating a lot of pie during winters, and for me, winter is not winter without apple pie" he said.

Craig uses Granny Smith apples and is careful about the ratio of apples to pastry. "If there is too much crust, it ends up very dry, and if there is too much filling, it's not really a pie."

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Plating up the apple pie. @nadinecresswellmyatt

radii Restaurant and Bar Park Hyatt
Wood roasted apple pie. Image Park Hyatt

Experimenting with the open oven he came up with the idea of a traditional pastry base, adding the apple filling but then placing a cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon crumble on top. He then toasts this in the oven on a paddle before whipping out the pie and plating it ups with a drizzle of salted caramel and a spoonful of homemade vanilla ice cream.

The resultant pie is sensational.

Chef Craig's winter menu is rustic and nostalgic. It reminds you of all the winter comfort foods of childhood, of being rugged up and jumping in puddles but knowing that when you return home they'll be piping-hot food waiting for you.

With his farm-to-table approach ingredients are kept simple, so they can make their own statements. He creates the perfect winter dishes to warm the cockles of your heart.

BYO Dinners at radii restaurant will be available every Monday to Friday from the 1st of July 2018 to 31st August 2018. The Feed me a Little option is $88 and the Feed me a Lot option is $108. Or you can order a la carte.

BYO wine is on weeknights during winter

*Nadine Cresswell-Myatt was invited as a guest
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Why? Food and wine should be attainable luxuries
When: BYO Dinners at radii restaurant will be available every Monday to Friday from the 1st of July 2018 to 31st August 2018.
Phone: Reservations 03 9224 1211 or by e-mailing online bookings are also available
Where: 1 Parliament Square, off Parliament Place Melbourne
Cost: Mains from $36
Your Comment
Hi Nadine, Mouth-wateringly well-written! Great photos and descriptions. Cheers, Earl
by elivi (score: 1|80) 831 days ago
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