With doors leading in and out of Sydney Theatre – where Sydney Festival, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Theatre Company and others stage some of their most spectacular large-scale works – Hickson Road Bistro is the perfect spot to begin your night at the theatre. Run by Culinary Edge (the catering company behind the MCA Restaurant at Circular Quay), the bistro offers up simple, elegant dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients and designed to get you in and out with plenty of time to spare before the show starts.
Start with the gruyere, mushroom and baby spinach tart with goat's curd, eshallot and hazelnut dressing ($19) or the smoked salmon plate with caviar and brioche toast ($20), before settling into something more substantial like the pan-fried saltwater barramundi with cauliflower puree, prawn, tarragon, and chive tortellini and sauce vierge ($33) or the crisp pork belly with sausage, pear, and curly kale ($33).
For dessert, dig into a chocolate hazelnut torte with vanilla mascarpone and morello cherry ($14) or go for the more traditional selection of sorbets ($10) or cheese platter with quince and lavosh ($20).
While the menu has been designed for efficiency, everything about the service is relaxed and genial: the staff ensures the entrées, mains and desserts are delivered just at the right time, leaving plenty of room for a coffee and a chat before the show starts. There's also plenty to choose from on the wine menu, but we advice caution: there's nothing like a full belly and a glass – or two – of Pinot to make one doze off during a soliloquy.
Pre-show dining available Tuesday to Sunday.
Pre-show matinee service available Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.