Situated in the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong is an iconic two hatted fine dining restaurant. Its menu is a reflection of where the culture of Australian food is today and lead by executive chef Peter Gilmore of Quay fame, it takes Modern Australian cuisine to a whole new level. I was lucky enough to be taken here by Daniel for my most recent birthday and will share my experience in this post.
To start with we ordered a bottle of McW 660 Reserve Tumbarumba Chardonnay to share. With lots of seafood on the menu, we thought a white wine would be the perfect light accompaniment.
We were also offered warm sourdough bread and whipped butter, which melted easily on the bread, making it delicious and creamy.
For our entrees, we ordered the Local Royal red prawns with whole orange & saffron cream, chorizo and agretti. This was a delicious dish, the prawns were tender and full of flavour and the saffron cream made for a fresh and light sauce.
We also ordered the Seared tartare of Rangers Valley wagyu with horseradish cream, capers, parsley and crispy beef tendon. This was my favourite entree, I love tartare and the beef was so fresh and seasoned to perfection. The horseradish cream also gave a great kick to the dish.
For our mains, we ordered the Arkady grass fed lamb with spring cabbage, fermented rye peas & blossoms. This was cooked medium rare and was so juicy and tender, with the spring cabbage giving it almost an Asian fusion flavour.
However, my favourite main was the Macleay Valley suckling pig confit with organic carrots, pickled onions, black & white garlic. This was a beautifully plated dish and the taste matched the plating. The pork belly melted in your mouth and the carrot and pickled onions added unique flavour and cut through the fattiness of the pork.
For our sides we were offered Young potatoes with anchovy butter and Red lettuce salad with vinaigrette. These were cooked well and good accompaniments to the mains.
For our desserts, we couldn’t go past the signature Pavlova with custard and passionfruit juice. This was shaped like the Opera House and while usually I find pavlovas too sweet, this was perfect with the tartness of the passionfruit juice perfectly balancing the meringue, while the custard was light and creamy.
I was also given a complimentary birthday cupcake with delicious vanilla frosting, which was a nice touch.
We also ordered the Crème caramel vs mille-feuille, a deconstructed frozen custard with pastry flakes, broken creme caramel, salted caramel sauce and toffee shards. This was an interesting dessert, the salted caramel perfectly contrasted the sweet frozen custard and the toffee shards added a great texture.
Overall, Bennelong was an amazing experience. From the ambiance, to the service and the plating and quality of the food, we could not fault it. It was a memorable way to experience by birthday and I would definitely recommend it as a special occasion restaurant.