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The Dining Room by James Viles

  • Restaurants
  • The Rocks
  1. Food on a table.
    Photography: Supplied
  2. The Dining Room by James Viles has a view of the Sydney Opera House.
    Photography: Supplied/The Dining Room by James Viles
  3. Scotch eggs at The Dining Room by James Viles.
    Photography: Supplied/The Dining Room by James Viles
  4. A chilli mud crab on a plate.
    Photography: Supplied/The Dining Room by James Viles
  5. Dessert at The Dining Room by James Viles.
    Photography: Supplied/The Dining Room by James Viles
  6. James Viles standing outside the Park Hyatt Sydney with the Opera House in the background.
    Photography: Supplied/The Dining Room by James Viles

Time Out says

This one-hatted restaurant with the five-star view is a dining experience that shouldn't be reserved for hotel guests only

Sydney is brimming with restaurants and hotels with divine views. But there’s nothing quite like the vista you have from the Dining Room by James Viles, at the low-rise Park Hyatt hotel. From your seat, you’re face to face with the Sydney Opera House, which sits just across the water. You get to admire the House and its shimmering reflection not from above, but from water level. From here, the building feels strangely close and in motion, as if its white sails have just rounded Bennelong Point and are cruising towards you. 

The hotel’s restaurant has been led, since mid-2022, by culinary director James Viles, who previously led the two-hatted Biota in Bowral. In the few months since he took over the Park Hyatt’s restaurant, he and head chef Brian O'Flaherty (formerly of three-hatted Quay) have earned the Dining Room its own hat. These are people who know what they’re doing. 

The view is to die for, and the food is worth living for. Their menu evolves with the seasons, and it celebrates the best and freshest produce Australia has to offer. Starter ‘bites’, served individually prepare your tastebuds for what’s to come – there are the obvious bites, like Sydney rock oysters, and the less obvious, like truffled potato chips layered with paleta (a type of Spanish ham), served with hot sauce on the side. The selection of bites is an intriguing mix of the playful and sophisticated, which makes it almost impossible to choose.

Bites are followed by a selection of shared starter plates, where you’re invited to decide between ‘fresh and light’ – think mackerel sashimi with nashi, shiso and chilled bone broth – or ‘rich and decadent’ – like the dry-aged rump tartare with chilli and, you guessed it, more potato crisps. They do make a mean chip.

You might then move onto the roasted menu, dishes cooked over coals until they taste their charry best. There’s a barbecue Mareema duck, a bone-in sirloin, and some silky grilled leeks – all served with flavour-bomb sauces. If you’ve still got room, move onto a whole southern rock lobster with Tasmanian pepper sauce, or a Rangers wagyu with marinated oyster mushrooms.

The desserts steer us back onto that playful route. They bring a retro-Aussie nostalgia and, thankfully, they taste as good as the sweets that came out of your Nan’s kitchen. Among other choices, there’s a cherry ripe with coconut ripple, and a baba with frozen pineapple and burnt pineapple custard.

The Dining Room by James Viles also serves breakfast, and there’s a fabulous three-course ‘Business Lunch’ menu special available every Thursday and Friday, for $135 per person. We can’t think of a better place to start the day or close a deal.

Not sure your budget can stretch to a whole southern rock lobster or Rangers wagyu? Check out our favourite cheap eats.

Written by
Alice Ellis


Park Hyatt Sydney
7 Hickson Rd
The Rocks
Opening hours:
Breakfast Mon-Sat 6.30-10.30am, Sun 6.30-11am; Lunch Tue-Fri 12-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 12.30-2.30pm; Dinner Tue-Sun 5.30-9.30pm
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