I've frequented Mode Kitchen & Bar numerous times and have enjoyed every visit so when I was invited By the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney to review the restaurant I was more than keen to do so. As I often do, I dined alone this night as my partner was at a function, and I felt extremely comfortable sitting there alone. Mode specialises in seasonal cooking, classic cocktails and polished service in a welcoming 1920s-inspired setting and, they do it well!
Mode Kitchen & Bar strikes the perfect balance between casual bistro and fine dining, all with a touch of glamour thanks to the Luchetti Krelle interiors. There are open rooms throughout the restaurant which makes it interesting with views of the bar and the kitchen. I love the lighting and the fabulous pizza oven.
Head Chef Francesco Mannelli’s menu focuses on flavour and technique over embellishment and uses seasonal ingredients sourced from only the best producers.
Mannelli’s favourite dishes include:
Slow-cooked Wagyu cheek, red cabbage and chestnuts
Hiramasa kingfish sashimi, sweet and sour onions and macadamias
Risotto, fresh Tasmanian truffles and mushrooms
Fremantle octopus, potatoes, leeks and radishes
1kg Coorong Angus T-bone aged for 21 days
However, I did not choose any of Mannelli's favourites, I dined on fresh oysters, the special of the day which was the salmon and a fabulous nectarine meringue.
Freshly shucked Sydney Rock oysters, ginger & shallot vinaigrette 4.5 ea
As you would expect from a restaurant like Mode Kitchen and Bar the oysters, were very fresh. The dressing with the lemon was perfect. My only observation is I thought the oysters were a little salty.
Crispy skin salmon, boiled potatoes, kombu butter and dill mayonnaise.
It may not sound like a gourmet dish but believe me this was! The salmon was cooked to perfection and the skin was crisped just right. I love salmon when it's cooked correctly and this piece was done exactly how I like it. Now the humble boiled spud might not sound that sexy but I am here to tell you that there was some creativity involved here. Beautiful tender potatoes with butter, chives and finger limes. Seriously good! The kombu butter was the magic that brought it all together to make this a dish I've raved about to a number of people since. The salmon was recommended to me by my hostess, Valentino who I must mention gave exceptional service and I really appreciate it when the staff know that the special dish is really worth ordering.
Nectarine meringue, lime, hazelnuts
To finish off my meal I chose a light dessert and this was an an excellent choice.
Mannelli comes to Mode Kitchen & Bar with more than 20 years’ experience in top restaurants both in Australia and abroad, most recently at Sydney’s Balla, Bistrode CBD and est. His passion for cooking and quality produce stems from his upbringing in Florence picking olives and grapes at his uncle’s vineyard.
“Mode Kitchen & Bar encompasses everything I have learnt and found a passion for, transformed into something new and truly my own,” says Mannelli.
“The menu reflects everything that Mode means to me – simplicity, ease, comfort, enjoyment and finesse. It is something I am truly excited to welcome guests to; something so close to my heart it’s like welcoming you into my home.”
Mannelli is joined in the kitchen by Sous Chef, April Shen who has built up an impressive CV with experience at Pei Modern, Pendolino, Bistro Moncur and Bacco Osteria e Espresso. Simone Cordedda joins as Restaurant Manager, and with his international CV and true Italian hospitality spirit, will deliver a truly welcoming restaurant and drink offering.
Complementing the Mode lunch and dinner experience is the nine-metre-long bar and bar menu which is central to the venue’s glamorous old-meets-new-world offering. Signature cocktails include the Rhubarb Fizz, Vesper on The Rocks and a Reposado Sour and a range of bar snacks to enjoy, such as the Fraser Island spanner crab sandwich.
An extensive wine menu focuses on Australian wines alongside the best from the rest of the world, with more than 200 labels on offer and many by the glass.
I enjoyed a glass of Nick O'Leary Shiraz which has a smooth texture and flavours of dark berry fruits.
And 2013 Bream Creek “Late Picked” Schonburger, Marion Bay, TAS to go with my dessert. Good choice!
Interiors by Luchetti Krelle (Banksii, Tequila Mockingbird and Bar Brose) include 18 pearl-like Tom Dixon pendant lights that complement the burnished bronzed bar front and brass highlights on the solid timber, velvet and luxe leather furniture.
At the central bar, brass is punctuated with 24 metres of honey-coloured Spanish Giallo Antico stone slabs. A curved, fluted glass façade envelopes the guests making Mode Kitchen & Bar intentionally intimate.
Mode Kitchen & Bar features a variety of dining spaces, from stools at the bar and cozy banquettes, to a Chef’s Table and a Tasting Table, both overlooking the open kitchen, along with two semi-private dining rooms.