After a year of construction and renovations, The Royal Mail Hotel Executive Chef Robin Wickens and his team have unveiled a completely new restaurant – Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel. Built on a new site on the property the dining room has been designed to create a strong connection between the land and the dining table and is supported by 1.2-hectare kitchen garden – the largest working restaurant kitchen garden in Australia.
Robin Wickens who has been at the helm of the two-hatted restaurant at the Royal Mail Hotel for the last 4 years was instrumental in the design, layout and equipment selection for the new kitchen.
“Being able to design a kitchen from scratch is a real treat; we pretty much had a full scope to do whatever we wanted too,” explained Robin. “The kitchen has been designed so that is follows the flow of service. It starts on the left with canapés and then travels along to larder, fish and hot dishes and right through to pastries across the other end.”
With the assistance of Comcater’s Stephen Wilson and Bruce Jenkins from KBR Commercial, the kitchen has been fitted with the best of the best: RATIONAL combi ovens, Garland Induction commercial cooktops, Garland Master Series ranges, Cambro kitchen storage solutions and Vitamix commercial blenders.
“The induction cooktops are fantastic they can really change the way that you cook,” said Robin. “You have amazing control of the heat and it also takes a lot of the heat out of the kitchen.
Offering a 5 and 8 course menu which constantly changes depending on what is available in the garden kitchen and for the wine lovers a wine matched option, offering an impressive selection of French wines that showcase the breadth and depth of the Royal Mail Hotel wine cellar that holds the largest privately-owned collection of Bordeaux and Burgundy in the Southern Hemisphere.
The floor to ceiling windows throughout the dining room extend into the kitchen providing diners with a full view of the Robin and his team of 8 Chef at work. Robin says guests are invited to come into the kitchen during service and chat with the chefs, while at the four-person chef’s table which is situated with a full view of the pass is served by the chefs themselves.