The Star Sydney presents: Indulgence

A festival for all the senses this April and May – with art and experiences curated by Tame Impala’s Cam Avery, artist and florist Doctor Cooper and DJ Alex Dimitriades. 

The Star Sydney is curating a carnival of pleasure throughout its venues this  April and May, with the theme of indulgence threaded through artist collaborations, imaginative drinks experiences and specially created menus.

Each of The Star’s Signature restaurants – Sokyo, BLACK Bar & Grill, Flying Fish, Cucina Porto and CHUUKA – along with The Darling Spa, have been tasked with creating an entirely original menu that represents their vision of indulgence: silky-textured seafood crudos, marbled meat cooked over flames, and desserts laced with chocolate, cream and red fruit.

The Star Sydney has also tapped three connoisseurs of culture to articulate their own idea of indulgence, bringing all the senses into play. Tame Impala’s Cam Avery, floral artist Doctor Cooper and DJ Alex Dimitriades will each curate a signature sensory experience to complement the food and drinks on offer.

The Star Chief Marketing Officer George Hughes said: “Indulgence is food, of course – great wine, delicious desserts, cocktails and rich flavours. But it is also about all the things that surround and elevate a great dining experience. We wanted to expand the meaning of indulgence to think about all five senses and create a luxurious sense of occasion with every experience – something we’ve missed over the last year. Expect tables laden with sumptuous dishes, abundant blooms, and evocative soundscapes”.

Dine inside an opulent still life painting at BLACK Bar & Grill, with floral art by Doctor Cooper

At BLACK Bar & Grill, Executive Chef Dany Karam will pair with florist Lisa Cooper (Doctor Cooper) to present a dining experience reminiscent of a Renaissance still life. Themes of dark and light collide, with lavish wood-fired dishes meeting an abundance of delicate, beautiful blooms.

Cooper, a butcher’s daughter and a fine art sculptor, is heavily influenced by her father’s trade and claims that sculpting is in her blood.

“Working with meat (my father’s work) is about breaking down the whole raw material; removing pieces to expose the perfect piece – like you would with a piece of marble,” says Cooper. “My work, with floristry, is about building up that piece of art by putting elements together. I’m really inspired by the contrast of those two different methods.”

Cooper will weave in the theme of indulgence in her choice of blooms: the magnolia. The entire work will be made up of this rare, beautiful and transient flower, creating a visually arresting experience.

“You never see a big bunch of magnolias,” says Cooper. “For the scope of your vision to be filled with these big, soft, silken flowers is, for me, the true meaning of indulgence.”

In conversation with Doctor Cooper’s sculpture, Chef Dany Karam will present a tasting plate of the finest in Australian meat, cooked simply and beautifully with fire and natural fuels. The dish will hero aged lamb loin (200g),  Kurobuta pork chop (250g) and Wagyu beef tenderloin ($290 for two guests), pairing the smoky scent and marbled texture of the cuts with a Ridge ‘Geyserville’ Zinfandel blend.

“There’s nothing more indulgent than finding the best produce and cooking it beautifully,” says Karam. “It’s amazing to explore the different tastes and smells you can have on one plate, with three different proteins from three different farmers cooked on the grill.”

Take flight at Sokyo: top shelf Japanese whiskies and a guided groove journey with Alex Dimitriades

Sokyo’s rare dignity is set to meet rare synth grooves, as the venue invites DJ and famed crate-digger DJ Alex Dimitriades to soundtrack the venue.

When Executive Chef, Chase Kojima was tasked with devising a menu celebrating indulgence, his mind went straight to his favourite whisky, Yamazaki: “It’s precious, it’s not something you can have every day,” says Kojima. “But when it’s time to indulge, that’s what I go for.”

Diners at Sokyo can choose between four unique flights of Japanese whiskys ($80–$210pp). Each flight is paired with beef tenderloin tataki, selected to complement the characteristic smokiness of Japanese whisky. Lightly grilled on binchotan (white coals), the tataki will be served with a smoked aioli to round out the charcoal sensation.

Resident selector Alex Dimitriades (Boogie Monster) will take diners on a different kind of flight, curating a playlist of rare global grooves that will form the soundtrack for Sokyo over April and May. Dimitriades will also be stepping behind the decks every Saturday night of May from 7pm–9pm, starting May 1 to May 22, reaching into his deep bag of vinyl to bring genre-bending selections from smooth Japanese funk to Italo disco and beyond.

Dimitriades said: “I’m very excited to be a part of this collaboration with Sokyo and having the opportunity to tailor a unique soundtrack to suit the indulgent sensory overload the other resident artists are bringing to the table”.

Healing psych sounds: A restorative spa treatment soundtracked by Tame Impala’s Cam Avery

From mid-April touch meets sound at The Darling Spa, with a sonic bath of transformative ambient sounds curated by Tame Impala’s Cam Avery.

Inspired by traditional Japanese compositions, the soundscape is crafted to augment the Lit’Ya Mala Mayi treatment: a restorative full body exfoliation, mud wrap and massage ($280 for 90 minutes). This will be a unique piece of music created exclusively for The Darling and can only be experienced while immersed in this luxurious treatment. Avery has created an ambient soundtrack to evoke deep calm and relaxation.

This is truly an experience to engage the five senses, with nourishing massage, music and aromatic oils rounded out by a luxurious Champagne service.

A long, luxurious lunch at Flying Fish

For Flying Fish Executive Chef Peter Robertson, indulgence is all about time: and nothing expresses it better than a long, luxurious lunch. With that in mind, Robertson has created a lunch menu ($130pp) designed for lingering over the extended snack selection (studded with luxury items like caviar, oysters and sea urchin), slowly working your way to a decadent dessert, and taking the opportunity to indulge in a few inventive cocktails throughout.

“Part of the indulgence is taking your time through the grazing process and savouring every mouthful,” says Robertson. “The relaxed, unrestricted dining experience is something we have been craving and missing over the past 18 months, so we really hope to see guests settling in and taking the time to treat themselves.”

Elegant roe service at CHUUKA

At CHUUKA, the world class skills of chefs Chase Kojima and Victor Liong collide, resulting in a menu of elegant, flavour-forward dishes that highlight the complexities of Chinese cuisine with Japanese precision.

Designed for shared feasts, the menu encompasses a stout selection of raw seafood as well as crowd-pleasers like tempura yuzu chicken and CHUUKA’s signature Peking duck. Rounding out the dining experience is a drinks list spanning inventive cocktails and a selection of fine sakes, as well as the best of Old and New World wines.

Here, indulgence comes in the form of silky textures and luxe ingredients. Diners can opt for a special roe service with Ikura Salmon roe, cashew cream, golden egg yolk sauce, shallots chives and potato rice cracker ($45), enjoyed while treating the eyes to a spectacular view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tableside Cocktail Magic

The Star will be bringing an added layer of glamour and drama with a unique drinks trolley experience. At BLACK Bar & Grill, as the Glenmorangie Whisky Trolley rolls from table to table it will be serving up premium whisky pours, Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails, a selection of house-made bitters (wattle seed, hickory and za’atar) and a one-off smoked cocktail.

Meanwhile, Flying Fish is turning its attention to a different spirit. Its trolley will celebrate the martini and all its luxury connotation with three Belvedere Vodka tipples: Heritage 176, Single Estate Rye Lake Bartezec and Single Estate Smogory Forest, alongside a selection of Australian and international vermouth, and aromatised cocktails to further delight the senses.

Sokyo will be taking indulgence to greater heights with their Suntory Old Fashioned with Hibiki Harmony Smoked with Cherry Wood, priced at $60 and available Fridays and Saturdays only. This drink is perfectly matched to the chef’s smoky wagyu beef tataki, using Hibiki’s harmonious blend of whisky rolled and smoked to perfection for a “Kanzen” or complete experience.

Behzad ‘Behz’ Vaziri, The Star’s award-winning cocktail connoisseur, said: “Our cocktail trolleys add a touch of tableside magic to the dining experience, allowing us to chat through the different spirits and cocktails with our guests and personalise their drinks based on flavour preferences and palate”.

Decadent desserts with Valrhona Chocolate

Each of the Star’s signature venues will also feature a specially created dessert using Valrhona luxury chocolate.

At Cucina Porto, chef Martino Pulito is looking across all of Italy to hand pick the finest desserts from each region. The Italian Dessert Plate ($64 for 4pax) features tiramisu from Veneto, cannoli from Sicily, bigne from Tuscany, cioccolato e lamponi and a classic torta della Mamma.

“If you want to treat yourself,” says Pulito. “You always have room for dessert. Most of the time we deny it, but it’s something everyone has a weakness for.”

At BLACK Bar & Grill, in a decadent final chapter to the meal, dessert will be a warm Valrhona chocolate ganache with cherry, crispy rice and coconut sorbet.

Flying Fish will be playing with texture, serving up a luscious Valrhona chocolate cream with cherries braised in mirin, miso caramel, hazelnuts and caramelia ice-cream.

In a more experimental direction, diners at Sokyo can experience the popular Japanese Goma St with Valrhona chocolate.

The Star Indulgence
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