Chef Elton Inglis has serious culinary cred – he’s worked with Jaime Oliver and Gordon Ramsay and lead neighbourhood restaurant Assiette Anglaise to the 12th top spot on Tripadvisor’s London restaurant reviews. Elton has returned to Sydney and was recently appointed the Head Chef role at the Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo.
The Tilbury is better known as a local pub with one of Sydney’s best beer gardens. But with Elton at the helm, the Tilbury has become a destination for a top notch, no fuss dining experience. Elton has created a menu focussed on using the best seasonal Australian produce. A few Tilbury favourites have remained on the menu, so if you’re a fan of the Rangers Valley rump steak, breath a sigh of relief.
Before our canapés arrived, Elton took the time to share a few stories from his career including verbal abuse in Ramsay’s restaurants, working with delinquents and disadvantaged youth at Jamie’s Fifteen and getting to know Australian produce and suppliers all over again. Elton is a very down to earth, genuine nice guy and took the time to chat with us after our meal.
I can’t think of many chefs who would let diners loose in their kitchen but there we were, aprons donned and excited to cook our scallop entree in a commercial kitchen. I wish I had fresh ingredients chopped up in plastic containers when ever I cooked at home! We were given scallops and chose ingredients we thought would pair well. This was a great lesson in what you can do with simple fresh ingredients as everyone’s dish looked and tasted amazing. We all gained a new respect for chefs – cooking over a chef’s cook top is like standing over a furnace. I don’t know how they do it day in, day out.
Our main of ginormous racks of Cootamundra lamb were served with smoked eggplant puree, zucchini, trussed tomatoes and persian feta. My photo doesn’t quite do this dish justice, the lamb was cooked to pink perfection. Sides included kipflers potatoes with rosemary and garlic and a pear, rocket and parmesan salad. The potatoes are incredible, I had to stop myself after eating five.
By this time we were all full but there is always room for dessert. The Belgian chocolate fondant was of course just right, cooked well on the outside and gooey insides. Served with honeycomb, raspberries and cinnamon ice-cream this was the perfect dessert to end the feast.
As well as changing the restaurant menu, Elton has launched a Sunday brunch menu, best enjoyed with champagne cocktails. On Friday nights from 5-7pm the Moet Ice champagne bar lets you jazz up a glass of bubbly for $10. If you are planning to dine at the Tilbury I would recommend making a booking, the place was packed on the Tuesday we were there. Online bookings are available via the Tilbury website.