The Australian Museum Cafe No. 1 William

Rebecca Varidel
5th Mar 2017

At the top of The Australian Museum there is a café, which is aptly named by the museum address No. 1 William.

To get our autumn eating started we braved the March showers and headed across Hyde Park for our museum lunch. Despite a bit of wait for the lifts, when we arrived on level 4, the view was worth it. As was the food...

In addition to daily sandwich specials ($12.50 - $15 with fries) there’s a wide selection of dishes for lunch from the lighter vegan and gluten free Roast heirloom beets salad ($14 / $21) to a traditional yet creative 4 Pines Kolsch beer battered flathead with French fries, tartare ($21.50) and the heartier 200g Grain fed eib eye steak with hand cut rosemary chunky chips, Bernaise sauce ($32). No. 1 William also has a namesake wagyu burger. If there’s any room left after that there is a selection of classic desserts including a mouthwatering Chocolate Molten Lava Cake ($12). And the only nod to the location at The Australian Museum sits in sweets: The Australian Museum pavlova with fossilized fruits ($12). And the Sydney restaurant represents its Australian heritage with another Aussie culinary treat, the lamington.

It was a Friday, the end of the working week for some, after all - so we went for Let’s Lunch option – two courses and a glass of wine for $40 each.

What happened was as much as a surprise to each of us as it will be to you. The offering of that day Seared barramundi, with prawn & bacon mash, samphire greens, citrus beurre blanc. It was cooked so perfectly moist flesh and crisp skin, and beautiful flavoursome and seasoned sides and sauce, the dish would be most acceptable in a high end restaurant resplendent with white cloths and silver cutlery at dinner. Talk about value. Our forty bucks gave us this, a glass of wine, and the pavlova. We were very impressed.

“Our aim here was to create a stunning rooftop dining destination in the middle of the city with great food and great wine that’s affordable to everyone. The simple, fresh menu is all about local produce and real flavours that can be enjoyed by everyone from locals and business people looking for somewhere different for lunch to tourists and Museum visitors" explained Group Executive Keith Jones. His background assures us he can keep the quality coming during any pumping lunchtime action of a 180 seat venue as he was formerly Executive Sous Chef at the Hilton Hotel Sydney and Head Pastry Chef at the Park Hyatt and Aqua Dining.

Accessible to everyone, not just visitors to the Museum, No. 1 William is open from 10am to 4.30pm daily and offers a delicious range of simple, classic and affordable Australian-inspired dishes for breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon tea, as well as a wide selection of Australian wines and beers. Access is through the Museum Crystal Hall's entrance.