Food News

QT Sydney’s Gowings Bar and Grill reopens today, with a reinvigorated direction and a new menu

The evolution for the well-loved restaurant, presided over by chef Sean Connolly, is inspired by the steakhouses of New York’s Little Italy.
Nikki To

Remember hotels? Lots of them are opening around Sydney right now. And blissfully – thanks to reopening borders and uninhibited interstate travel – they’re all starting to fill up.

While there’s plenty of flash, new accommodation – whose delayed openings and re-openings have caused a bit of a luxe hotel log jam – firmly established favourites have had to keep up and stay sharp. One way they’re doing that is via rethinking their in-house drinking and dining options.

QT Sydney, in the thick of the city’s CBD, has just completed a reimagining of Gowings, its flagship restaurant. Veteran chef Sean Connolly – a UK expat who’s been behind the likes of Byron’s Balcony Bar and Sydney’s The Morrison – has come aboard as creative director for the new Gowings Bar and Grill. What was once a European brasserie has hotfooted it across the Atlantic, becoming a New York City-inspired steakhouse (by way of Little Italy).

The dining room at Gowings Bar and Grill.

(Photo: supplied)

The lunch and dinner menu is a crowd-pleaser. Hand-made pastas primarily focus on seafood: mafaldi comes in a Fremantle octopus bolognese; linguini with Mooloolaba spanner crab; and ravioli with Skull Island prawns and Yarra Valley salmon roe. For a splash out, try the risotto with Spoon Bay eastern rock lobster ($110). The grill and oven section features grilled kingfish, wagyu eye fillets and chicken Milanese. For some tableside carving theatrics, order from the butcher’s block: it stars heavy Delmonico and T-bone cuts for groups of two or more.

There’s also a renewed focus on the bar, if you’re seeking a more casual experience. Snacks include a New York cheeseburger with duck fat fries, a lobster doughnut topped with Oscietra caviar, and freshly shucked oysters. If you really want to push the boat out, order from the tight Champagne by-the-glass list and get the Oscietra caviar cannoli. The globe-trotting whisky list runs several pages long, taking in every blockbuster distiller, as well as plenty of craft players, and it’s bolstered by an impressive array of gins, rums, tequilas and mezcals.

QT Hotels have a knack for opening bars and restaurants that become popular with locals. The rooftop bar at QT Melbourne has one of the best skyline views in town, and Esther at QT Auckland (also overseen by Sean Connolly) was received with open arms when it opened back in 2020. That emphasis – placing a high importance on locals as well as guests – is alive and well at the new Gowings.

Gowings Bar and Grill

1/49 Market St, Sydney, NSW

Open for lunch Thu-Fri, dinner Tue-Sat

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