Saturday, 23 October 2010

let's do lunch at guillaume at bennelong

Nice view . . . of the amazing butter!
 I climb the stairs to the Opera House after a long walk in warm weather and high heels. I’m parched and in desperate need of a drink. When I throw open the door to Guillaume at Bennelong, I am surprised to find an empty entrance area and an empty restaurant.

Cautiously I walk down the stairs towards the reception desk and am almost bowled over by some overly excited middle-aged women. From cavernously empty, the restaurant is suddenly alive with a flood of people coming up the stairs from within the depths of the Opera House.

I realise they have just opened their doors and I have somehow come in “the back”. Oopps.

I was supposed to be having my third Let’s Do Lunch with Stinky, but she had to work.
Hey, don’t go feeling too bad for her just yet! She’s a travel agent and her “work” consisted of a free week in the USA visiting LA, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park and Las Vegas. Tough life.

Instead of giving up the booking, Tia Bicky and I decide to live it up with a nice lunch together in civilised surrounds. They give us a pretty good table, with a partial view of the Harbour Bridge. No complaints here.

The wait staff are all extremely friendly. Everyone smiles and greets us. Everyone.

While we chat about the skyrocketing prices of houses in Newtown (Bicky & Robot are trying to buy), soft slices of perfectly crusted sourdough are set down with beautiful salty butter. I could eat a slab of that butter on its own.

Roasted free-range chicken breast with a tombe of silverbeet on a bed of cauliflower puree, olives and lemon confit jus
 Our Let’s Do Lunch special looks and sounds simple, but like most French food you feel the time they chefs have spent making the sauces and the accompaniments that make these simple dishes taste amazing.

The chicken was cooked wonderfully, a crispy skin covering juicy meat without even a hint of dryness. The silverbeet provided an iron-flavour, counter balancing the sweet tomato and the velvety purée. The jus lifted the dish from being too heavy while the smear of olive tapenade gave a rich flavour. Just superb.

Baby beans with pistachio pesto
 Our side of baby beans with pistachio pesto ($14) is wonderful. The pesto is perfect with flecks of salt bursting out through the herbs and nuts. I just adore the sides and Bicky and I have no trouble finishing our vegetables.

That means dessert!

Although a few of the al a carte desserts tickle my fancy, Bicky is trying to reduce her cholesterol so we opt for petit fours instead. Oh woe, life over age thirty!

The petit fours ($8) turn out to be the perfect choice. There’s actually 6 tasty treats for us to try and they are all delicious.

I will present them to you in ascending order of greatness:

Liquorice Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Strawberry & Vanilla Cream Tarts

Salted Caramels

Passionfruit Jellies

We leave full, satisfied and ready to walk back to work, uphill in heels in the heat.

But I'm tough :)

Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I agree it is a wonderful restaurant i had dinner there in January. I was expecting it to be pretentious, expensive and bland and it was friendly, expensive and really really great.


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