Time Out says
[Sponsored] All aboard for the Mercure's warm and rustic new restaurant offering
The Mercure Hotel in Railway Square is surely one of the most handily located hotels in the city – situated on the nexus of the city and the fun-packed suburbs of Chippendale, Surry Hills and Redfern, and right next door to transport hubs the bus station and Central Station. In fact, the hotel was built on the former site of the oldest rail line in the state, the Goods Line, which once connected the Sydney Rail Yard to the shipping port of Darling Harbour.
The Mercure’s revamp of its Level 1 dining room pays tribute to this heritage, expanding the former Four Elements restaurant space and revising the décor with an understated railway theme. Platform 818's walls are exposed brick for a warm, rustic ambience, decorated with old black-and-white photos depicting scenes from the history of NSW railways. The self-service breakfast zone (shuttered off following the lunch service) utilises classic white train station tiling.
The menus reflect the theme too, starting with the bar’s emphasis on Highball cocktails (fun fact: the harder-to-spill Highball glass was originated for use on board railway carriages). The food offering, masterminded by a team under executive chef Simon Harrison, is Mod Oz rooted in rustic French technique. Local NSW produce is used where possible.
Pulled Breakout River lamb shoulder from Cowra goes into the dainty-but-hearty tartlets, punched up with mint gel. Riverina brisket arrives sticky with barbecue sauce and a 'slaw-like remoulade, and thin-sliced Black Angus scotch fillet with red wine jus is mouth-meltingly good.
Queensland snapper is served on a fragrant bed of quinoa and pomegranate, and Persian fetta enlivens a crisp spinach rotolo. Juicy garlic prawns come with a side of bread crisps, while chilli lime butter turns scallops on the half shell into disks of briney pleasure.
Desserts are comfort classics with a premium twist, such as the unctuous caramel sauce topping baked cheesecake, and chocolate brownies graced with strawberries and violet crumble mascarpone.
In addition to à la carte, the restaurant offers a group dining menu for $55 a head, available to groups of four and more, that takes the anxiety out of ordering.
If you’re partial to whisky and chocolate, you’ll want to pause over at the bar for the Glenfiddich Terrarium Experience. This Zen-like ritual serves you a dram of 12-, 15-, 18- or 20-year-old Scotch along with two chocolate truffles on a small terrarium tribute to the flora of the Scottish highlands. Sip the whisky, bite the chocolate, let the two enhance each other on your palate, then repeat.