Much has been made of the view from this restaurant, and it is spectacular, but the real beauty lies in the vaulted ceilings and glorious exposed concrete skeleton. This room magnificently realises Joern Utzon’s vision, though most pay handsomely to enjoy it. Savvy Sydneysiders sip on Rose Petal Vodka Martinis ($19) in the cocktail lounge’s sexy swivel chairs. There’s no obligation to dine… but the claw meat in the Blue Swimmer Crab Sandwich ($35/4 tapas dishes) is pretty tempting! And really, this is a very reasonable price to pay to spend some time in such a wonderful, and under-utilised space.
One luxurious mouthful of duck parfait on truffled brioche in the Duo of Duck ($45), and it’ll be price be damned! It knocked the Scallops on Jerusalem Artichoke Puree ($40) right out of the water, but our mains were a dead heat.
There was beautiful John Dory ($50) on carrot and ginger puree;
...and a plate of Barossa Valley Chook ($50) with perfectly aligned macaroni gratin, so comforting I could’ve curled up to sleep!
Okay, our meals took a little long, but I’m glad I waited up for Cheese Selection ($35). I enjoyed it (particularly the runny Époisses de Bourgogne) with the 2009 Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling ($80/375ml) and only a smidgen of Chocolate Soufflé ($25) envy. This is possibly my favourite dessert wine, and certainly the one I drink the most often. Even with the benefit of choices, when I see it on a wine list, my mouth waters...
I was lucky enough to also enjoy the Nougat with Roasted Peanuts, Caramel Ice Cream and Banana ($25)
which felt quite classic. It went down a treat with the Crawford River Nectar ($75/375ml). I am not usually a botrytis fan, preferring late harvest wines, but this one is a real cracker!
The comprehensive wine list leans towards France and Australia. I couldn’t imagine a better place to examine the lovely legs on a 2009 Spring Vale Gewurztraminer ($70). It's a such a quintessentially Australia place to dine, even a confirmed Francophile like me drank the home-grown variety!
Guillaume at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9241 1999