Located on the ground floor of the Royal on the Park Hotel, The Walnut is old-school territory — when you imagined fancy dinners as a kid, this is the kind of place you were dreaming of. Wooden panelling, white leather seats and gold finishes coupled with views of the City Botanic Gardens create a calm, sophisticated vibe, but that's just the beginning.
There are two reasons to get cosy in the restaurant's surrounds: the faultless service, which'll make you feel like you've suddenly become a celebrity; and the exceptional food, which turns even the most familiar menu items into something truly special.
You can have the stilton soufflé as an entree, but we recommend saving it for the main course when it accompanies the wagyu porterhouse. Instead, opt for pan-seared scallops or a selection of oysters (served three ways: natural, Florentine and Kilpatrick). Other mains on offer are the miso-glazed salmon, spanner crab spaghettini and mushroom ravioli. On to desserts and old favourites — including sticky date pudding and crème brûlée — shine.
Sure, you've had most of these dishes before, but you haven't had them while feeling like the most important person in the city.