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“All style and no substance” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Gowings Bar & Grill

Gowings Bar & Grill
49 | Market Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
+61 2 8262 0062
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Ranked #153 of 5,160 restaurants in Sydney
Price range: $26 - $157
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night, Private Dining
Description: With concept created by acclaimed Sydney restaurateur Robert Marchetti, Creative Food Director of QT Sydney, Gowings Bar & Grill presents the style of a European brasserie, with edgy contemporary design. Offering the freshest produce from Australia’s best artisan providores, prepared with cooking techniques featuring wood fired rotisseries and ovens. A specially curated wine program featuring exciting young winemakers from all around the world compliments the food selection.Open Breakfast 6.30am – 10.30am | Lunch from 12 noon | Dinner from 6pm | Bar 12 noon – 12 midnight
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“All style and no substance”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013 via mobile

Went with high expectations and greatly disappointed. Food OK, nice funky room however the service was dreadful! The restaurant was overstuffed with elegantly dressed staffed who seemed to wander about aimlessly oblivious to the needs of the diners. It looked as though they had spent hours doing their hair, but had no training from management as to customer service. A good example was that our wine arrived over 20 minutes after our entrees. Restaurant needs to focus on ambience, food, wine and service, not the staff trying to look like they are guests at Elton John's Christmas party. The whole model is incongruous with the image of the old Gowings, with its barbers shop smelling of brylcream. The manager should go down the road to Hemmes to see how it should be done

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187 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
    88
    66
    16
    9
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Ripped-off steak, better go for Seafood.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

Poor steak quality and cooking, better go for seafood instead. I Just visited Gowing today and ordered Shiro Wagyu marble 9+ rump for $48. The steak was sealed till burnt and curled on one side. I ordered for medium to medium rare but it turned out like medium well. The texture of the meat is not even Wagyu marble 2 quality, no marble 9+ lines nor juicy nor tender. Also it didn't come with any sauce or Jus but only a slice of lemon!! The waiter gave us free options to choose from BBQ sauce and mustard condiment selection. Very disappointed. Don't try the steak, better go for  seafood instead. Crab cake entree was awesome though. Nice selection of wine list. Sorry to say this but it's ripped-off steak!!

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Sydney's first decent Hotel Bar & Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I think in most major cities in the world (particularly London) the trend is to hire a high-profile chef to run the Hotel's in-house restaurant to attract more than just the weary guests who can't be bothered to venture out to fill their stomachs.
Hubbie and I regularly head into town for a little romantic weekend away and we've never been tempted to eat at the hotel's restaurant. We made one exception when we ate at The Darling's Sokyo - which proved our theory that if you want something decent to eat, venture out.
QT has finally delivered the goods. It has dining and drinking venues galore.
First off there's the cute little cafe downstairs - great decor, but didn't try anything, so can't comment.
Then there's the Bar area of Gowings. Our Sardinian barman was cute, charming and made some killer cocktails for us. I always think that a great acid test for an establishment is how they handle a mistake - everyone makes mistakes after all. An error was made with our bar snacks and the recompense more than made up for the slight delay with our food. How sick am I of mistakes being made and then there's not even an attempt to put them right?
Later that evening we were shown up to the Gilt Bar and that really is where the beautiful people of Sydney hang out for the groovy decor and again super cocktails. (I should mention that you should dress up to the nines - every member of staff here looks like a model, or should be, but don't worry - they're not the sort of model/wait staff that resent being there. Every person we interacted with had the most beautiful smile (genuine ones, not crocodile) and couldn't have been more friendly or helpful.
Sunday night we returned to the bar to work our way down the cocktail list and were priviledged to experience two new unreleased cocktails called the Jack Sparrow and the Polska Mule - sensational. Onto dinner at Gowings and I tried a raw shellfish concoction, followed by the wood fired quail - superb and hubbie had the tuna tartare (cut from the famous hanging yellow fin) and a sirloin on the bone. All delicious.
One of the highlights of our stay was breakfast - probably the best ever in any hotel I've had in the world (for quality and choice) (I do like the buffets at the Shangri-la in Asia, as there is a station there from most sub-continents of the world - but it's just buffet food). At Gowings everything is cooked to order, and it's impossible to narrow down what you'd like. We tried the traditional fry up (fantastic and great value at $18 - that's cheaper than most crappy cafes), but the real highlight were the fish tacos and the heuvos rancheros. I'm seriously thinking of making the trek from the Northern Beaches just for those two dishes for breakfast again

Seriously, Sydney is lucky that QT has opened and given the city somewhere cool to stay and eat. It's the kind of place where you can go for a city weekend and never leave as everything you need is right on site.

As I'm sure you can tell by now, I feel very protective of QT (with absolutely no association) and I won't hear a thing said against it!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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NSW
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“A charming experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I used to shop for a department store in the Gowings building in the city of Sydney. Now it has yet another reason to remain an iconic Sydney location. The bar and grill makes full use of this buildings historical legacy. Coctail waitresses and all, it is a delightful experience. The food was good quality, the atmosphere inviting and the service was above average, especially our waiter, Tim, who seemed to anticipate our every need and was also good fun and easy to chat with. I had the pork and my daughter the Bourguignon and both were delicious. The service was quick and attentive. The drinks were reasonably priced. A very comfy place to dine either with friends or for a romantic dinner. I will definately go again.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“New York New York!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

The old Gowings building has been transformed into a seriously fun and fabulous new hotel destination with its own bar and grill. Even getting there is fun, the lifts play dance hits and the lighting is subdued and sexy, you walk through the hotel lobby and upstairs where gorgeous cocktail waitresses in black glamour gowns wait to seat and serve you. Cocktail list is wonderful and the snack food was good (don't recommend the fried chicken though), the ambience is sensational. For an anniversary/special occasion, take someone for dinner and drinks and book a room at the hotel (every room is different)!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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