REVIEW: BENNELONG, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Dining at one of Australia's most iconic landmarks in itself makes quite the remarkable experience. However, Peter Gilmore's Bennelong doesn't just rely on its Opera House roots for its wow factor but also delivers the fireworks when it comes to its beautifully crafted menu and exemplary service.
The two-hatted restaurant is fitting for a special occasion and our visit tied in nicely with Peachwater's belated birthday celebrations.
Lunch service kicked off with some complimentary sourdough and some creamy butter that glided over the bread effortlessly.
I've had more than my fair share of tartare, but Bennelong's seared tartare of Rangers Valley wagyu still managed to stand out from the crowd. The tartare itself had some chewy bite to it instead of the usual silky tenderness. The meat also had quite a pronounced aged and rich taste, pairing beautifully with all the additional elements and giving rise to a complex but darn tasty interaction of flavours and textures.
Do not be deceived by the drawn back, minimalistic presentation of the roasted quail and its accompanying stone pot of rice; the flavour and impression left upon the taste buds were at a soaring maximum and could not have peaked any further. The quail was cooked perfectly; a rosy blushing pink. Both the stuffing and sweet glaze imparted plenty of flavour but it was the accompanying umami-rich grains that sank the final blow when it came to the dish's flavour explosion.
Once upon a time, someone figured out how to make cheese taste better than its usual form and came up with the cheese souffle. I haven't encountered a bad cheese souffle to date, and Bennelong's take does not disappoint. The twice cooked goats curd souffle was airy light and yet simultaneously indulgent and rich. The pouring of cheese sauce further amped up the cheesiness, mopped up by the grains of puffed rice. The spring greens and the subtle tang of their dressing served as the perfect partner to the souffle, breaking up the cheesy richness.
From the food to the presentation and attentive service, the Bennelong experience was faultless. A must visit for fans of Modern Australian fare, fine dining and those after a dining option for a special occasion.
Drinks: Badu Gili with Granny Smith apple, lavender, lemon myrtle lemon and Peychaud's bitter // Wild Kombucha by Ballsy, wild thyme honey Jun
Seared tartare of Rangers Valley wagyu, horseradish cream, capers, parsley and crispy beef tendon.
Roasted quail and stone pot rice with fermented shiitake, sesame, perilla.
Twice cooked goats curd souffle, spring greens, C2, lemon jam, roasted hazelnuts.
Complimentary birthday cupcake - Happy birthday, Peachwater.
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Circular Quay, New South Wales, 2000.
(02) 9240 8000