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Pont Dining Room interior

When you walk down the street and arrive at the door of Pont Dining Room at the InterContinental Sydney, it feels like you’re embracing history as the restaurant is housed in the heritage-listed Treasury Building which dates back to 1851. The architects who created the hotel have combined modern city chic with the original heritage features to create a unique dining venue in the heart of town. .

When it comes to the menu, Chef de Cuisine Kanishka Amunugama follows a paddock-to-plate philosophy but adds more pizzazz and style (and a dash of smoky magic from the restaurant’s chargrill) to create a night out that highlights the sophistication of Sydney and produce from the surrounding ocean and rural New South Wales.

We arrived on a rainy Friday night and were escorted to our table and immediately offered water, a wine list and menus for our perusal.  It was lovely to be inside the cosy restaurant and surrounded by the smell of delicious food instead of outside in the winter chill. Pont Dining Room was busy so it took a little while for our meals to arrive but they were worth waiting for.

The first dishes off the mark were the entrées, which are listed as ‘Snacks’ which seemed strange as they’re not really snacks. We enjoyed the creative take on Bangalow pork which was topped with tiny curls of crackling and served with a generous dollop of chorizo jam and a vegemite and butter sauce. The pork was perfectly cooked and the tasty curls meant there was no need to gnaw through a chunk of crackling.

Bangalow pork
Bangalow pork at Pont Dining Room

I ordered an entree size portion of the pumpkin agnolotti served with a brown butter sauce and a sprinkling of hazelnuts to create a satisfying crunch. This classic dish was well executed with pasta that was cooked al dente and had plenty of flavour. It would work equally well as an after work meal for business travellers or an entrée as was the case with us. We loved the versatility of this dish and the clever menu planning.

Pumpkin agnolotti with a brown butter sauce

For mains, my husband opted for the black onyx brisket and tenderloin which was slow cooked and topped with compressed pear and caramelised onion, with a square of beef fat hash on the side. He loved the rich flavours of this dish and the crunchy hash brown that was packed with flavour. The second main, a juicy pork cutlet, was equally good.

Pont Dining Room pork cutlet
Pont Dining Room pork cutlet for mains

Dessert arrived not long afterwards and the rich chocolate mousse was a hit. Being a chocoholic, this dessert had my husband swooning at the taste and the plating which hid a quenelle of rich chocolate extravagance served on a thick bed of brown butter crumb under a raspberry crisp.

Pont Dining Room chocolate mousse

I joked with our waitress when I ordered the polenta limoncello cake that I had chosen it solely because it was served with a rosemary pistachio ice cream that sounded amazing. So, it was a bit of a surprise when my dessert arrived without the ice cream! I managed to flag her down and she apologised and ducked back to the kitchen to grab a scoop of ice cream for me.

Polenta limoncello cake

Before we went upstairs to our room at the InterContinental Sydney, we looked outside and discovered that it was raining even harder than before. There’s a lot to be said for a hotel with an in-house restaurant like Pont Dining Room that’s worth staying in for.

Disclosure: The writers were given a credit to dine as a guest of Pont Dining Room, and paid the remainder of the bill themselves.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.