Solander is the city’s newest restaurant and cocktail lounge (Sydney)

Solander Dining and Bar is one of the latest to prop up the bustling food and drink precinct down on Sussex, bringing the area a 72-seater restaurant and bar as part of new boutique hotel West Hotel Sydney, a property that is part of the refined Curio Collection by Hilton. Located at 62 Sussex Street, the restaurant is being led by Belgian-born Executive Chef David Vandenbeele who has been flown into Sydney following a 10 year stint across London and New York.

“The philosophy behind Solander is to entwine Australian botanicals and fresh seasonal produce to create a memorable dining experience”, said Vandenabeele. “With my background in French cooking and experience working around the globe, I wanted to create an internationally inspired menu with local, carefully selected products that are of the highest quality”.

Woods Bagot have come on board to shape the space with motifs inspired by native Australian botanicals, which pay homage to both the bushland that once ran through this land and Swedish botanist Daniel Solander (for whom the venue is obviously named) who was a key figure in the early documentation and collection of Australian plants.

Cocktail lovers should immediately take to the botanical-inspired drinks list that has been complemented with range of mocktails, boutique local and international spirits, wines and craft beers served from the elegant emerald green terrazzo bar. Mixology plays a big part here, with an extensive selection of signatures like the Rose Margarita with gold tequila, activated charcoal, house-made rose, and violent syrup, or the Tomato/Sage Mary made with sous vide vodka, special spiced mary mix, and angel hair chilli.

As for food, Vandenabeele plans to introduce diners to his most successful dish: a double-boiled chicken tea served with goji berries, ginseng and ginger. Other items on the menu include the bleeding heart radish ravioli with cashew nut cheese and yellow tomato salsa; the Hunter Valley snail beignetes with black garlic dip; the Mandagery Creek venison with a baby beet and goat’s cheese risotto in a port wine reduction.

With plans for regular live music out on the atrium and an interesting menu across both food and cocktails, it’s looking like Solander will quickly become one of the area’s best new openings and a sure-shot hotspot for those looking for something a little different in the rapidly growing precinct.

Solander Dining and Bar

Address: West Hotel, Ground Floor; 65 Sussex Street, Sydney
Contact: 02 8297 6500


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.