One of Sydney’s landmark spots is Pavilion on the Domain, a tranquil venue located on the edge of Sydney’s lush Royal Botanic Gardens.
This outdoor and indoor restaurant serves up a real treat to its guests, not only does it boast soaring views of the city’s high rises, but it also has picturesque scenery of The Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens.
As you dine you will feel like you’re eating in the gardens with the birds chirping, wind gently whistling and sun shining (that is if you go on a sunny day, try avoid going on a rainy day as it won’t be the same). What’s nice about the Pavilion on the Domain is it’s a spacious venue offering various dining experiences, from an outdoor leafy courtyard to a more formal feel inside to casual drinks, coffee or nibbles on their outdoor terrace. Whatever mood you’re in, they pretty much can cater for it.
How is the food?
Specialising in modern Australia cuisine, the Pavilion on the Domain prides itself on serving up a seasonally crafted menu.
And, when you peruse the menu you can see this come through. The dishes featured fresh and in season produce, interesting flavour combinations and were elegantly prepared.
For entrée I tried for the honey roasted butternut pumpkin, beetroot and sunflower feta salad; and the pepper and sesame-crusted tuna with a green bean, tomato, red pepper and chat potato caper salad. Both entrées were fresh, flavoursome and gluten-free, however the standout was the seared tuna, simply delicious!
Not long after the entrées, the main courses arrive. Here I opted to sample the roasted salmon fillet with grilled asparagus on top of a creamy pea risotto. While the second dish ordered was a slow cooked confit chicken served with chive polenta and crispy leek straw.
Let me begin with the salmon, this was a straight up gorgeous dish, cooked perfectly – crispy skin and full of flavour. What impressed me the most was the combination with the creamy pea risotto. It was so refreshing to have salmon without a mash potato, I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and would order it again.
However, the same can not really be said for the confit chicken unfortunately. On this occasion, the chicken was too dry – luckily for the dish it wasn’t a total write off as the chive polenta was delicious.
To dine and not indulge in dessert is a sin, so in no time a hot chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce; plus a caramel tiramisu arrived on the table to be devoured.
Both dishes were perfectly portioned and tasted divine. The chocolate fondant was delicious, only vice is it didn’t have that inside chocolate oozing out factor. Surprisingly, the winning dessert dish was the caramel tiramisu. Fresh, simple, light and not overly sweet – it was a delightful and unexpected treat.
How do you rate it?
With its serene location, good table service and elegantly prepared dishes, overall the Pavilion on the Domain is a lovely spot to dine and enjoy lunch. Weighing up these areas, I give it a 4.0 out of 5.
TIP: I recommend visiting nearby Mrs Macquarie’s Chair to capture its prime views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. It’s easily one of the best lookout points in the ‘Harbour City’, and only a 15-minute walk from Pavilion on the Domain. However, go before midday to avoid the sun darkening your photo’s exposure.
What are the details?
Pavilion on the Domain
Location: 1 Art Gallery Road, Sydney
Cost: Entrées ($19-$22); Mains ($24-$28); Desserts ($10-$12)
Tel: +61 2 9232 1322
Note: They do a three-course lunch special with a glass of wine and tea/coffee for $50 per person. Also you can have my experience via RedBallon for $120 (for 2ppl) and includes a bottle of wine.
Have you dined at Pavilion on the Domain? Tell us what you thought.
"With its serene location, good table service and elegantly prepared dishes, overall the Pavilion on the Domain is a lovely spot to dine and enjoy lunch. Weighing up these areas, I give it a 4.0 out of 5."