Manta restaurant woolloomooloo wharf sydney interiors brass chain- handeliers

Manta makeover | sydney waterfront dining

Sexy and glamorous. Red carpet ready. Did someone say 'rescue fantasy'?

Dining at the Woolloomooloo Wharf is one of the best ways to experience Sydney. It delivers the goods for both locals and visitors.

Manta Restaurant and Bar, between Otto and China Doll, has after nine years, undergone a makeover.

Over Veuve Clicquot and a degustation to introduce the new look and feel, owner Rob Rubis says he was aiming for a kind of Hamptons meets French bistro meets Sydney Harbour.

S. T. UDIO head Sally Taylor was entasked with interpreting that brief, which she has done via shadow boxes of coral and warm golden candles, raw oaks, a wall of strategically placed bottles of wine (there’s a keen new sommelier in Christian Denier), which will have chalked captions as soon as someone finds the chalk, floor to ceiling curtains delineating private spaces and a bar embellished with soft gold mother-of-pearl “scales”.

Because it doesn’t have the mezzanine level like others on the dining strip, it has a temple-like spaciousness that allows for a stunning swathe of brass chain chandeliers.

Chef Daniel Hughes’ food is as much the star –  perfect Pacific and Sydney rock oysters with pomegranate vinaigrette, a signature crab lasagne cushion, beef fillet and short ribs sourced from Rubis’s family farm in Texas, Queensland, olive oil pressed from carina olives in McLaren Vale.

It’s a light and elegant menu that dances like the afternoon sun on the yachts moored out front, finding mod Oz  panache with Princess Charlotte Bay bug ceviche, baked half-shell scallops, ocean trout belly with hazelnut cream.

Manta restaurant woolloomooloo wharf Sydney angel chips Daniel Hughes

Manta’s “Angel” chips with truffles and parmesan. Photo Susan Skelly

And, okay, not quite so light but a key performance indicator, the Manta “Angel” chips with generous shavings of truffle and parmesan. Equally as wicked is the dessert tasting plate, a symphony in fuchsia.

Manta is in good company. Other luminaries on the Finger Wharf are Otto and its sibling The Larder, China Doll, and one of Sydney’s best gourmet Indian restaurant’s, Aki’s. Round the corner, Blue Hotel (which was sold last year by Taj Hotels for $32m to the Hong-Kong-based Hind Hotels and Properties Group to be part of the Ovolo brand) is undergoing renovations. The bar area that has been a popular good time launching pad, is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

manta restaurant woolloomooloo wharf sydney dessert tasting plate

The grand finale: Manta dessert tasting plate

Photography Cole Bennets

Related stories: Sydney Under the Radar

6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, Sydney; (02) 9332 3822


Editor. Writer. Traveller. Keeping tabs on all things fab.

'Manta makeover | sydney waterfront dining' has no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © Susan Skelly 2020.