Guillaume (pronounced Ghee-ahm) at Bennelong has a proud reputation that has as recently regained three chef hats at the Good Food Guide 2014 awards. Guillaume at Bennelong is situated in the southern most shell of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Serving contemporary Australian cuisine with a classical French influence, with head chef Guillaume Brahimi himself, we found this a must for a special occasion for Jessica’s 21st birthday! This was our experience:
Jimmy: This appetiser I believe was called the Pumpkin Velouté. It was light and creamy as it should be with the foie gras complementing well.
Jessica: Royale was a quite interesting dish, the contrasting texture of the smooth pea puree and the crispy croutons kept me coming back for more. The flavours were quite subtle, I wish it had more of a kick to it because the last spoonfuls got a bit boring. However, it was a good entree to start off with because the flavours weren’t too overpowering.
Jimmy: My entree “Spring Vegetables with heirloom carrots, fennel, leek, asparagus and kale.” First off, amazing presentation with the colours bouncing off the black ceramic. For those who are expecting something out of this world, this entree will disappoint. Nevertheless these seasonal vegetables are cooked to perfection. Having never tried kale, it really brought this dish together for me.
Jessica: This was definitely my dish of the night! My favourite element on the dish was definitely the scallops, they were cooked to perfection. My second favourite was the crispy crackling! It’s so disappointing when you bite into soft crackling, however this one did not disappoint at all. For the lovers of crackling or anything crispy, I highly recommend this dish because the crackling makes it so worthwhile. All the flavours worked well together.
Jimmy: My dish “Mushroom Consomme, Morels, shiitake, oyster, truffle, gnocci.” For lovers of mushroom, you would expect to find a well rounded meal. There was no particular punch to the dish and it began to get less interesting with each spoonful. The gnocci was beautiful and soft and the flavours worked well in combination. It was clean and the mushroom added to the consomme. Was just expecting something a little more from this dish.
Jessica: The chicken was cooked well, but to my surprise I actually liked the yabbies too (I’m not a big fan of seafood). The corn puree was velvety soft and worked well with the chicken. I honestly don’t have much to say about this dish, I enjoyed it but it didn’t have any wow factor to it.
Jimmy: My main “Mulloway with prawn, mussel, clam, capsicum, leek, potato, rouille.” Even though it did not meet my expectations, this was a very enjoyable dish. It was my stand out for the night. For me, Mulloway will always catch my eye on the menu. It tasted fresh straight from Palmer Island. The rouille does it’s job, complementing the mulloway, mussel and clam well. The prawn, with it’s head surprisingly is important in giving this dish an overall appeasing look.
Jimmy: The Champagne grapefruit granita was amazing. Really got me looking forward to my dessert. It may be due to the flavour of the champagne/grapefruit that may put many people off but tasted with the creme chantilly together, you can’t go wrong.
Jessica: My second favourite dish of the night! The caramel ice cream was a bit of a disappointment, it didn’t have that much flavour to it. However, the caramelised bananas was the winning element. I’ve never seen any dessert with caramelised bananas before, I didn’t expect much from it. You could still taste the sweetness of the banana and having it caramelised just brought it to life! I would order this dish again just to have those caramelised bananas!
Jimmy: My dessert “Chocolate souffle w/ cherry ripple ice-cream.” Was never a fan of souffle’s however I took a gamble by choosing this dessert. With the waiter dunking in the scoop of the cherry ripple ice-cream, I was ready to “dig in.” There were many things that disappointed me with this dessert and i guess it was my high expectations that played a large part. It lacked in the sweet department, the souffle was very light but I was hoping for a little more flavour. So i needed to try it with the cherry ripple ice-cream. Now, if there were a little more of the cherry ripple ice-cream, this dessert would be great. It was a let down and needed a little more in my opinion.
Expectations were high due to the reputation of this restaurant and the occasion. From the dining experience –as we could both agree on– was a let down. There were many great aspects, the service was professional (excluding the sommelier that took my drink order and gave me an odd look when i ordered cognac) the view was amazing and the produce was of high standard. By the end of our mains we felt a little tired and felt the wait time was longer than expected and that effected our dining experience a lot.
Guillaume at Bennelong has announced that it will be closing down by the year’s end. We were happy to have experienced this iconic three hat restaurant.