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

Folonomo :: restaurant review

For love not money is the ethos of this place and their name reflects that using the first two letters of each word in the saying.

It’s Sydney’s first “profit for purpose” restaurant, where after operating costs, all profits go to charity.

The food is sustainable and ethically sourced, but it’s beautiful, tasty, fragrant and inspires long comfortable dinner talking & laughing with your love or a bunch of friends.


Simple dishes (rump steak with kipfler potatoes & eel butter) yet complex with texture (braise lamb shoulder with ‘dirty rice’ that consists of three different types of rice with crunchy toasted seeds and duck mince).

Their kitchen is small but lively and sitting at the counter you get to see the dedication to quality and the enjoyment that is had by the chefs and cooks to produced these dishes. It’s fun efficiency, especially when the night starts to wind down and “staffies” beers are cracked as a reward to a job well done.

All plates are for sharing and we had one of the two sides; the cauliflower rice with silverbeet lemon & mint and it was to.die! The soft yet still firm cauli mixed with pops of mint, wholesomeness of the silverbeet and crunch of toasted seeds was a true party in my mouth! It was a fresh side to lighten the richness of the steak & fall-apart lamb dishes.


Again, dessert was shared; this heavenly French pastry bread called ‘kouigin amann’ buttery and toasty and served with baked pears, firm and caramel-y, lemon curd and in-house vanilla icecream. Oh.My.God. Seriously.


It’s BYO wine/champers at the moment while they wait on their liquor license.

5 dishes, wonderful staff, good food, good atmosphere, $125. Leave a hefty tip because it all goes to charity!

//all photos my own//

mornings

I recently heard an interview with a chef on a random radio station (can’t remember where or with who!) but I loved the questions enough to write them down when I had a chance.

Here’s my answers to these fun quiz questions!

What time do you get up?

  • weekday exercising it’s 6.15am, otherwise 7am for work and on the weekend I sleep in as long as possible!

Coffee or tea?

  • coffee coffee coffee coffee. there is a time for tea but in general I prefer the black gold

coffee from my local Fix in Crows Nest
coffee from my local Fix in Crows Nest
How do you have your toast?

  • when Im eating grains, I have sourdough with avocado and squeeze of lemon with salt & pepper. delish!

avocado on sourdough
avocado on sourdough (pic via cupofjo.com)
Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch?

  • Lunch. I’m not particularly a fan of breakfast food; it’s just not that exciting.

Favourite restaurant in Sydney?

  • Gowings Bar and Grill

Gowings
Gowings (pic via Gowings website)

Dine @ Gowings
Dine @ Gowings (pic via Gowings website)

our lovely waiter pouring my fave beverage!
our lovely waiter pouring my fave beverage!
What’s the only thing that’s always in your fridge?

  • butter and wine! can’t really make a meal out of that combination but it’s what’s always present in my fridge!

***

Now, what about you?

Happy Thursday!

green acres, kangaroo valley

last winter, we had the pleasure of staying at Green Acres homestead in Kangaroo Valley in the NSW Southern Highlands.

our little getaway group consisted of our friends King & Pete, who researched and discovered this little holiday gem, Misch our lovely, rambunctious Georgian, Skelly our passionate little pocket rocket, my bearded hubby Jay, our furry loud cavoodle Harley and I.

the drive from Sydney to Kangaroo Valley is simply stunning. as soon as you make it down the winding valley, the lush green valley floor opens up into kilometres of green fields spotted with grazing cows. there are crystal rivers to cross and an abundance of wildlife to spot amongst the trees (this is the place where you will see koalas in the trees!).

Green Acres can be booked through Stayz.com.au or directly from their website. The amount you pay depends on how many people are staying; the place sleeps 8. We used all four rooms for the 6 of us. It has a fully equipped kitchen (coffee machine, toaster, baking pans, wine glasses, etc), a spa bath, a BBQ, swimming pool, stereo with speakers throughout the house & outside, indoor fireplace, lots of couch seating, heaters in the bedrooms & all linen.

While you should probably bring all your groceries from the city (variety is bigger & price is cheaper), the property is about 10 minutes out of the village of Kangaroo Valley, so it’s close to amenities should you forget anything.

  Kitchen

 Lounge/dining   Lounge/dining

 Dining table   Bathroom with spa overlooking the backyard

 Fireplace, TV, stereo  One of the bedrooms

*****

there is an abundance of art on the walls, all eclectic pieces that are unmatching and each tell a seperate but beautiful story. I always think that artwork tells you about its owner. This art is a little left of field, quirky and tends to insight the imagination to sexy stories of Africa. They seem well traveled. (There is a mural of a hot naked man in the bathroom which is a nice touch!)

  Artwork

 Greenacres at night

  Woodpile in the backyard

 Our dog Harley exploring

 Friendly horse on the property

*****

We arrived Friday afternoon and left on Sunday, spending the time cooking, drinking vino, talking, dancing, laughing and stargazing.

There were some beautiful little touches left for us; fresh eggs from the nearby neighbours, a bottle of local wine & detailed instructions on how everything worked.

We loved how secluded this place was, we didn’t feel like we needed to keep the noise down, and being pet-friendly meant we could include our little furry guy Harley.

I love this place and I can’t wait to go back!!!

//melly files//

CITY LIMITS I moved to Sydney when I was 20. I dropped out of university to followed my heart. My parents were upset, but I had always been an independent kid. It paid off though, I worked my way up the corporate ladder and I married that guy; my high-school sweetheart.

Sydney
Sydney

MY VALENTINE I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. It’s too commercial to have meaning. Usually my husband will send me roses the day before just to let me know he loves me but he refuses to buy-in on being told to demonstrate his love. We started a tradition a few years ago of seeing a scary movie on V-Day; the bloodier the better. I still remember the year we saw My Bloody Valentine in 3D. It was a total trip! This year we’re going on a double date with close friends The Williamsons to see 50 Shades. It’s not scary but it’ll still be fun! COCKTAIL OF CHOICE I switch back & forth between a good stiff Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred, Grey Goose or Belvedere) the dirtier the better, or a traditional Old Fashioned made with rye whiskey. I’m not a huge fan of fruity or sweet cocktails. When I’m not drinking cocktails I’m drinking champagne. Bubbles baby, bubbles.

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

BELOVED ACCESSORIES Everyone knows I’m into handbags (especially Louis Vuitton) and I’m currently obsessed with my Comme des Garcons black clutch and black Alexander Wang Rockie.

Alexander Wang Rockie
Alexander Wang Rockie

DATE-NIGHT STYLE I like to wear a sexy LBD; form-fitting and cleavage with a little edge usually a leather jacket or bronze hardware. LABEL LOVE Im a fan of high-end street with a designer detail; Witchery & Country Road with an Equipment (French label) shirt, mostly monochromatic with black, white & grey, and the odd Leona Edmiston for a feminine hit.  THE OBSESSION candles & fresh flowers are my true obsession. I buy a fresh bunch each week and there is always a good quality scented candle burning. Instagram heaven!

fresh blooms
fresh blooms

ON JEWELLERY I love the edgy geometric bohemian look; lots of bronze and layered. Think multiple thin knuckle rings, dangly earrings with hardlines and shapes and layer bangles. I also have a silver Tiffany’s charm bracelet which I’ve been adding to for year; it’s a timeless classic. BEAUTY PREP I’ve used SKII skincare for 10 years; it keeps my skin hydrated and feeling fresh and translucent. I use Napoleon Perdis primer, Revlon foundation, an assortment of eyecolour & mascara, Benefit bronzer and NARS lip colour in Roman Holiday. Every now and then I’ll rock a red lip for dramatic effect. SIGNATURE SCENT I adore fragrances; I have many which are in rotation depending my mood, but my signature fallback is always CK Escape (which I’ve worn since I was 15) and Coco Mademoiselle.

signature scents
signature scents

GETTING PHYSICAL I go through phases of intense exercise then barely nothing, but this year I’ve sworn to try a balanced approach of daily exercise focusing on fun; long walks with my dog, kettlebell sessions with my husband & trying new classes with friends. ENERGY BOOST I swear by green smoothies. They really are simple to whip up (thanks to my power Vitamix) and I go for the all green approach; kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, celery, mint & coconut water.

morning green smoothies with Jay & Gracie
morning green smoothies with Jay & Gracie

WEEKEND WANDERLUST I love day trips out of Sydney to secluded beaches or remote bushland. There’s nothing I love more than waking early, packing the car with a picnic, playlists and heading out with my husband and hound.

The Williams
The Williams
hiking adventures with the hound
hiking adventures with the hound

happy new year!

It’s 2.30am and I’ve just crawled into bed from a New Years Eve party with friends.

The Sydney fireworks were the best they’ve been in years and for in as long as I can remember it didn’t rain!

Although our night didn’t turn out exactly as planned (I expected to be waaaay more drunk and a third of our group went home sick about 9.30pm) we had a great night at The Greens in North Sydney eating delicious food, drinking champagne and dancing up a storm!

I hope your night was wonderful, and for those on the other side of the globe if your just starting, then you have an epic one! Wake up with or without a hangover and get ready for 2015!!!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0324.jpg
CHEERS!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0320.png
//photo credit from @Australia//

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0323.png
//photo credit @thegreensnorthsydney//

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0322.png
//photo credit @sydney//

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0305.jpg
My Photo Capture!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0319.png
//photo credit @sydney//

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0326.jpg
This Guy; My Husband

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0325.jpg
Channelling the 90’s; Our Wrist Glow Bands!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8f6/13093504/files/2015/01/img_0316.jpg
Happy New Year from The Williams ❤️

currently

reading

Secret Shared by L Marie Adeline
I don’t usually read erotic fiction but I found this book via a book infograph on Pinterest and it was available via iBooks. It’s pretty steamy & easily entertaining!

IMG_1723.JPG

watching

Madam Secretary on TV; my teenage girl crush with Teá Leonie is back! Interstellar at the movies; my geeky fascination with quantum physics is peaked with this film written & directed by Christopher Nolan. Even Neil deGrasse Tyson is impressed!

baking

these beautiful cherry & coconut muffins. they are sugar- & gluten-free and are great for quick weekday brekkies on the run

IMG_4906.JPG

IMG_4946.JPG

loving

some recent quality time with friends

IMG_4869.PNG
Tam, Grace & I at Subo in Newcastle

IMG_5158.JPG
impromptu drinks with Jared, Pete & Jay in Darling Harbour last night that ended up being a bar hop around the city ending in an amazing Taiwanese feast at Walsh Bay

thankful

for the all clear that my Mum was given regarding a breast cancer scare. she had cancer of the uterus years ago and because her Mum (my Oma) died from breast cancer and her sister has had bowel cancer, she is extra vigilant with checkups. regular checkups are so so so very important!

looking forward to

visiting my father-in-law in a couple of weeks. it’s only a quick trip up to QLD but it’s been 11 months since we’ve seen him.
attending a few work-related christmas parties over the next month; a chance to dress up, drink champagne in beautiful locations and toast the busy year just past!
summer holidays are just around the corner and Jay & I have 3 weeks off work!!! we’ll be going to the beach, movies, catching up with friends and heading to Melbourne & Canberra for a week. yay!

cross street project

this is the most beautiful of concepts; take a rundown apartment with beautiful bones in a gorgeous beachside suburb, renovate and interior design with a simple, elegant and contemporary style and then sell it; simply as an apartment or as a fully-furnished apartment or shop the bespoke/custom furnishings.

this is what the clever design due from C+M Studio have done with their latest Cross Street project which closed it’s open house yesterday.

I just fell in love with the contemporary scando interior style that Christopher + Megan created. You will too…

All pictures from The Cross Street Project here