At the end of the Brooke Street is floor to ceiling glass. Inside is a bar and restaurant of impeccable quality like the Murano glass that lines its entrance. The Glass House is a destination.
The owners of the boutique hotel Islington, with a reputation for beautiful aesthetic and attention to detail, have been kind enough to share these qualities with the realpolitik.
The Two Girls recently celebrated a birthday there. Here’s our review in three key points.
Number 1. They have created a stunning space: from the art foyer, through the glass-lined enclave and into the stunning bar and restaurant with its studded leather, green wool and funky prints, and its gigantuous view over the habour. We were seated in the window, in delicious table seats curved to hold us at an etched stainless steel table. Others came and went. Apparently some were seated nearby but we hardly knew it. A few enjoyed private moments at adjacent lounges or a drink at the bar behind us where the wall is lined with perfectly curated colourful spirits of the highest calibre.
Number 2. The Asian inspired small plates - Japanese and Korean thanks to Executive and Sous Chefs - are exquisite. Our menu choice was facilitated by the excellent assistance of the maitre d – who helped us select the right balance to our eating experience. Every. Single. Plate, was a stand out. The post-modern gyoza was quirky, the sashimi quality Tasmanian salmon, and the gossamer tempura encased new season's plumpest scallops - which for the record, This Girl never eats. Never say never.
Number 3. Service thy name is not humility however it is attentive and acutely timed. One of the standout features offered by The Glass House is the perfect pace the plates are delivered to you. The Glass House recognises the importance of being in the moment. If you've taken the time to come to this place, they'll give you the time to thoroughly enjoy it. Service is also professional and knowledgeable.
This is a menu of small plates - eat as many or as few as you want. We chose six, sequenced and served to allow us to enjoy the entire unhurried experience. They recommend five for lunch but we couldn’t go past the chips. What we ate:
Salmon sashimi, ikura, soy, $18
Baby octopus, kimchi salad, $13
New season scallop, beer batter tempura, yuzu mayonnaise, green tea salt, $18
Gyoza chicken wings, $18 for three wings
Soft shell crab bao with red namjin, thai herb salad, $16 for two buns
Thick cut chips with sansho pepper, chilli mayonnaise, $9.
We drank a Glass Negroni with fancy pants blood orange liqueur, Solerno, $20 and a Spiced Milk Punch of Barcardi 8, kajuku umeshu, chilli caramel syrup, soya milk and nutmeg, $20 and shared a bottle of Pinot Rose.
Share a plate as entree, eat the bao each, and have a glass a wine; leave paying $40 each more or less. We had six plates, a cocktail each and shared a modestly priced bottle of wine for $100 each.
Large groups are catered for in The Keep, a cordoned off section to the east. Otherwise there is a range of precincts you can enjoy solo or in small groups, for drinks or meals.
We’ll be back. No doubt.
The Glass House can be found at the end of the Brooke Street floating pier.