EXPECT to sail smoothly through a meal at Captain Cook's Cove.
A spacious interior and understated decor with a nautical theme add to a pleasant dining experience but it is the approach to the food — a simple, fresh menu that is well executed — that make the restaurant at Stamford Grand North Ryde a place favoured by corporate visitors and families.
Food and beverage manager Marc-Paul Pennaneach said the restaurant's reputation was built on its seafood buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings.
"That's still what we're known for," he said. "We're a bit less adventurous than we might be. You can taste real honest flavours — good food that's not overworked."
An entree of seared scallops with rocket and Persian fetta salad and balsamic lemon olive oil is a popular choice. The scallops are tender and their delicate flavour surprisingly not overwhelmed by the creaminess of the fetta.
A pear, dried fig and candied walnut salad with rocket leaves, parmesan and honey mustard dressing is a subtly sweet accompaniment.
The organic chicken breast with teriyaki glaze, steamed rice and baby bok choy stands out among the main meals.
Also on the menu is a range of desserts including a sweet basil pannacotta with raspberry coulis and a pear and frangipani tart served with a generous dollop of King Island double cream.
The Chocolate Implosion is a signature dessert across the eight Stamford hotels. It is a chocolate mousse and poached pear encased in a dark chocolate shell. Hot melted chocolate is poured over the desert until it begins to implode — an impressive sight.
Reporter Jade Wittmann and photographer Natalie Roberts ate courtesy of the Stamford Grand.