We headed to the Sydney Opera House on a rainy Sunday for a 2 course lunch experience at Peter Gilmore’s Bennelong. The restaurant is located in the sails of the Opera House, with an impressive view out onto the harbour.
Our complimentary bread and butter – wholemeal sourdough if I remember correctly. We needed the knife for this as the bread was quite hard.
Sides of buttery leafy lettuce and perfectly seasoned golden and purple roast potatoes were brought to the table along with our mains.
The first main was the roasted John Dory on the bone, with orach, greens and umami butter.
If you have reservations about eating whole fish served on the bone, don’t. The flesh peeled away easily and was incredibly soft and moist. The accompanying vegetables soaked up all the delicious fish juices and butter. Oh and yes, the skin was crunchy.
The 2nd main, the roast pork was served with pork belly, pieces of loin and slow-cooked pulled pork, which was cleverly hidden beneath the bed of carrots.
Everything was great about the dish, including the crunchy crackling. The only drawback was that the portion was extremely small, which would be disappointing for anyone who came hungry.
We had an all Aussie affair for dessert – cherry jam lamington and pavlova. The lamington came to our table in a smoking bowl of liquid nitrogen, which cleared to reveal a square of cherry flavoured ice-cream and sponge cake, topped with a dark chocolate glaze. It was surrounded by snow-white shards of coconut cream. The sourness of the cherry was countered by the creamy, pillowy coconut shards.
Last but certainly not least, was the pavlova… in a recognisable form!
It was hard to dismantle such a work of art. The meringue sails were light and crispy. Underneath, was piped meringue and whipped cream with a liquid raspberry and rhubarb centre. It tasted as good as it looked.
All in all, the food at Bennelong is of high quality and standard as is reflected in the price tag, and the location is perfect for special occasions. The John Dory is highly recommended.