Fine dining in Sydney | Bennelong Restaurant

Bennelong restaurant interior inside the Sydney Opera House
Bennelong restaurant interior inside the Sydney Opera House

Showcasing the most beautiful view of the Sydney city skyline across Circular Quay, Bennelong is an impressive restaurant.

A visit to the Opera House always feels special, whether you are attending the ballet, symphony, music / comedy / drama performance, or simply going for a photo wander, the Opera House has the most grandeur feeling about it. It’s beautiful, artistic and a quintessential Australian landmark.

Bennelong is the perfect establishment to showcase fine dining in such a fine location.

From the moment you enter the glass door with that oyster shaped logo, you know your in for a special dining experience.

Bennelong entrance
Bennelong entrance

The Maître d’ is friendly and efficient. Our coats are taken and we are seated smoothly and quickly. We have the most amazing seats; right on the peninsula of the glass sail, looking back over the city skyline and Circular Quay.

Everything about Bennelong is smooth, calm, efficient, friendly but unobtrusive. Our waiters are knowledgeable regarding the wine list and menu, without having to ‘get someone else’ or ‘check with the kitchen’; a small touch that I love about fine dining that adds to the customer experience.

View from our dining table
View from our dining table

Surprisingly there are a good choice of wines for under $100 a bottle. We started an aperitif of a glass of Charles Heidsieck, then moved on to a bottle of French Bernard Fouquet from the ‘Future Champions’ list, which is a chenin blanc (similar to pinot gris?) with ripe melon and floral notes; light and perfect with our seafood meal choices.

My handsome husband
My handsome husband

The menu is succinct and all looks so tasty that its a tough choice! The food is light, Modern Australian; not pretentious, just beautiful plates with quality ingredients and imaginative pairings that work so well.

Dinner
Dinner

Everything we ate was deliciously amazing; Prawn raviolo & Tasmanian squid for entrees, Wild caught fish & Suckling pig for mains, and Crème caramel & mille-feuille and cheese plate for dessert. My only regret is the cheese, as it was a bit dry from lack of accompaniments (could do with quince or pear paste or a bunch of grapes).

Prawn raviolo organic radishes, fermented chili & prawn jus
Prawn raviolo
organic radishes, fermented chili & prawn jus
Today’s wild caught fish roasted palm heart, parnsip, bone broth
Today’s wild caught fish
roasted palm heart, parnsip, bone broth

It was my husband’s birthday and before they served dessert, they served a birthday cupcake with a single candle; soft, buttery vanilla cake with butter icing. Such a lovely touch.

Birthday Boy!
Birthday Boy!

Seriously, this restaurant is wonderful and you really can’t go past it for an amazing dining experience, especially if you’re dining for a special occasion.

table candle and card
table candle and card
The Williams post-dinner
The Williams post-dinner

Bennelong | Sydney Opera House, Sydney NSW Australia

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gowings bar & grill

Gowings Bar & Grill is located in the QT Hotel on Market St in the city.

It is my new Sydney favourite restaurant! I went there for a work celebration lunch about 2 months ago and then again last month for my 35th birthday with Jay.

Here are some pics of this deliciously magical place!

QT hotel reception lounge
QT hotel reception lounge
paying homage to Gowings
paying homage to Gowings
the entrance to Gowings Bar & Restaurant
the entrance to Gowings Bar & Restaurant

The Gowings building was established in 1868 and has sat dormant for many years after the family owned department chain went out of business in 2001.

QT boutique hotel chain opened on the premises in 2012 and within it’s first year of operation Gowings Bar & Restaurant received a Chef’s Hat!

getting our Veuve on
getting our Veuve on
yellowfin tuna tartar
yellowfin tuna tartar
grilled barramundi
grilled barramundi
various shots of deliciousness
various shots of deliciousness
Jay & Melly mucking around
Jay & Melly mucking around

To visit, check out the details [here].

a question a day in may | three

Day 3 question

Where’s the best place you’ve ever eaten?

This is a tough one. I do consider myself a bit of a foodie and I’ve eaten at some amazing restaurants (just see my Soul & Stomach page) so although it was a lovely trip down delicious memory lane, I have narrowed it down to three (only 3!) meals;

  1. Picnic on Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays; it was our honeymooon and from the resort we were dropped off by helicopter on deserted Whitehaven Beach for half a day. We swam in the crystal blue water, ran around starkers in the sun on the fine white silica sand and ate tasty treats from our picnic basket (prepared by the resort chef) which included Moët, cheese, fresh bread, fruit (pawpaw, mangoes, strawberries & watermelon), cashews, half a lobster, some prawns and oysters, salad and various sandwiches. Amazing.
  2. Dinner in Paris; After a long day of sightseeing we found ourselves in Trocadéro (16th Arrondissement) as the sun was setting. From there you have a view straight down the gardens (Jardins du Trocadéro), over the Seine and directly to the night-time-glittering Eiffel Tower. We took a table outdoors at Cafe Le Malakoff and had apéritifs (Kir Royal!), steak frites (for Jay) and the most amazing lobster salade (for me)! We finished with some fromage (cheese) and crème brûlée. It was an impromptu dinner and it was one the of best meals ever.
  3. Dessert at Becasse; My favourite restaurant in Sydney used to be Becasse. Justin North (exec chef & owner) outdoes himself with each dish. I say “used to be” because he has changed locations and mixed it up a bit with the philosophy; he now has Becasse (not the same menu), Quarter 21 (where you’ll find similar dishes to the old Becasse) and Etch. Jay & I ate at the original Becasse twice for our wedding anniversary and my friend Mandy had her hen’s night there (very classy no penis straws or strippers insight!). We haven’t been to the new Becasse or Quarter 21 but we ate dinner at Etch in December. Along with Quay’s Snow Egg, the most delicious dessert has now moved from the Becasse menu to the Quarter 21 menu. It is the famous & delicious Banana crème brulée, salted peanut brittle & milk coffee sorbet. [image via]