Walsh Bay Kitchen

Rebecca Varidel
24th Jan 2024

As it turns out, you can order a la carte from the Walsh Bay Kitchen restaurant menu. Or at least I think so, though I'm still not sure.

Sitting next to the Roslyn Packer Theatre, I arrive a good half an hour before my companion, and am also the first for the evening to be seated in the whole venue. So there is no excuse for what I have to report except poor attitude, poor training, and poor management.

I'm finally seated, after I ask not to be seated right next to the waiters station. In a restaurant that is still to 'welcome' other patrons, menus are placed in front of my place setting, and for the empty seating of my companion. I'm not even asked if I'd like something to drink.

In an attempt to start my evening on a pleasing cocktail note, I end up resorting to calling out (shock horror) to a wait person setting cutlery a couple of tables away. My other option, other than being ignored would have been to walk from my table to the front bar and ask for service.

The Festival special is a pleasant and pretty enough libation based on the popular Sydney theatre bars' choice of Archie Rose gin. A sour, though not named as such, with its classic egg white froth. It comes with standard Sydney pricing ($22) and a lovely cucumber garnish and flower on top.

The menu in front of me has 2 course and 3 course options. Later I ask if there are ways to order rather than 2 or 3 courses. My menu is taken away and replaced with a Snack Menu. After asking a few different floor staff, when I was able to get their attention, I get the dinner menu back as well. Apparently dishes CAN be ordered a la carte (but I'm still not sure).

Call me old fashioned. Fondly, I remember the days when if you needed a waiter you looked up. Or even those professional floor staff that working by observation, could see a customer (remember them Trippas White Group) sitting with an empty glass. Their response would be to ask the customer if they would like something to drink.

By now, I just wanted to chill. To move myself into the performance zone. So I handed over the responsibility of ordering to the other person now seated at our table. He suggests sharing a few plates, including a languid sweet KFC, of which he takes a stunning picture and posts it on instagram without comment, and dessert.

So, as for the food, cocktail, wine. It's unmemorable. Not unpleasant, but not as basically good as I would cook at home for a budget mid week dinner. Nor the quality or the inspiration that I would expect from the premises adjoining one of our premium theatres in Sydney.

Wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity to start an evening of world class theatre (in this particularly case dance) by enjoying a lovely meal with some good old fashioned hospitality service as trimmings beforehand?