Guillaume at Bennelong, Circular Quay

>> August 19, 2013

Bennelong is one of those places which I didn't really know about until I saw it on Masterchef.  Thank you Masterchef for increasing the number of places on my 'to eat' list!  It is a two hat restaurant located in the Opera House with amazing views of Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge.

The restaurant immediately came to my mind when I was looking for a 'fancy' dinner and I was happy to see that there reasonably priced pre-theatre option with $72 for 2 courses or $89 for 3 courses.

We made a reservation for 5.30pm on Saturday night and ended up running half an hour late.  Oops!  We had underestimated the traffic coming into the city but luckily our table was still ready for us and we managed to eat and leave by the pre-theatre departure time of 7.30pm.

I loved how each table had its own spotlight shining on it.  As I mentioned earlier, the view across the harbour is incredible and most of the tables for two have both seats positioned to face the windows.  The atmosphere inside the restaurant was very refined and I think it would be a great pick for 'special occasion date night'.

We started off with a daiquiri for me ($18) and a mocktail for my friend ($12).

Sourdough bread with a small round of soft butter was offered and we accepted, of course.

There was a range of 7 entree options on the pre-theatre menu and all of them sounded delicious so it was hard to decide.

In house smoked salmon 
creme fraiche, Avruga, baby herb salad and toasted brioche



Local rock fish soup
mussels, crab, scallop, croutons and saffron aioli






I had the local rock fish soup and the taste, colour and texture of the soup was very similar to the lobster bisque that I had at Spago in Beverly Hills. There was a small mussel, prawn and bits of picked crab floating under the shallow soup.  A medium sized piece of toasted bread served as the crouton (peeking under the saffron aioli).

Not long after our entrees were finished, the mains came out and the server placed a large dollop of our Paris Mash side on each plate.

Mulloway
roast fennel, oyster mushroom, clams and beurre blanc


Barramundi
celeriac purée, field mushroom, sage butter


I ordered the Barramundi and found the field mushrooms to be super sweet, almost sugary tasting.  I wasn't sure if I liked that or not.  The fish was cooked well and I personally really like celeriac so I enjoyed the celeriac puree.

Paris Mash ($14)


The Paris Mash was of an extremely generous serving size!  We couldn't finish the bowl between the two of us.  It was smooth, creamy and I could taste a lot of butter.

Nougat Glace
peanuts, caramel ice cream, banana


Vanilla bean creme brulee
Passionfruit sorbet


Both desserts were yummy.  I had the vanilla bean creme brulee which had visible flecks of vanilla bean dotted throughout the dessert.  The passionfruit sorbet was tangy and acidic so I kind of let it melt unobtrusively while focusing on the creme brulee.

I was very impressed with the dinner overall and general ambience of Bennelong.  Even though we arrived late, we still managed to fit in three courses and it didn't feel rushed at all!

I also wanted to mention that if you sit along the side of the restaurant facing Circular Quay station, there are gaggles of tourists peering into the window at you having your dinner.  A bit disconcerting but I didn't mind since I faced away from that window and towards the Harbour Bridge.  After dinner, I couldn't resist getting into the spirit and having a tourist photo in front of the bridge!



Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

chocolatesuze August 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM  

mmm how good is that paris mash! such a shame that guillaume will be closing. i def gotta go back before the end of the year!

missklicious August 20, 2013 at 8:44 AM  

food looks fantastic, and what a view! will definitely have to try this before it closes

Tina@foodboozeshoes August 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM  

Guillaume's Paris mash is 50% butter... yum! Definitely planning to book in before they close

retrodaze August 23, 2013 at 8:42 PM  

Hi chocolatesuze: I'm glad that I managed to squeeze in a visit before they disappear!

Hi missklicious: The view is def amazing, especially at night when the lights are all lit up!

Hi Tina: It's the butter that makes it so yum! :)

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