Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Guillaume at Bennelong - Circular Quay

We had heard the news that Guillaume at Bennelong is closing. As I'd never been there, I wasn't too devastated about it. But then hubby heard from friends that it's a top-notch restaurants and as such, he couldn't resist but to book it in.
Bennelong Restaurant

From all the word-of-mouth reviews from our friends, our expectations of this place was rather high. On this occasion, we opted for the 4 course a-la-carte menu ($150). The menu was briefly explained but the same waiter for each table and promptly after the explanation, he dashed off - to return a very very very long time later. It seems that the most attentive staff at the restaurant was our sommelier who chose us a very nice bottle of white.

The sourdough and the creamy butter was quite deliciousness. The bread was soft and tasty, and the crust crunchy. Unfortunately, when we wanted a bit more bread halfway through the meal, we had to ask THREE times for it (as it was delivered to the wrong table first, then the request was ignored).
sourdough and butter
The amuse bouche was another place where the waiter screwed up. They delivered it the next table, which then clashed with the delivery of their first course. The amuse bouche, when it did get here, was really delicious. Velvety pumpkin puree with that seared foie gras cube to make it super creamy and crazily tasty. Yup! sign me up for more of this.
pumpkin veloute
Hubby's choice of first course was the smoked eel with silverbeet, oyster, truffle and 'Sot L'y Laisse'.
It was heaps aromatic and the presentation was interesting. Hubby found it 'okay' in taste.
smoked eel

I opted for the savoury green custardwhich was the pea royale. The cold, smooth custard was really rich and full of flavour. It was topped with cubes of speck, croutons and peas, with truffle specks throughout. Tasty.
pea royale
For the second course, hubby ordered the squid 'tagliatelle'. The sea urchin butter sauce smelt really really good! The squid was thinly sliced to mimic tagliatelle and was served with a squid ink tapioca cracker.
Squid Tagliatelle
My choice was the scallops, seared to perfection. It came with jerusalem artichoke, broad beans and chicken jus gras. I love well cooked, tasty scallops :)
I think that's where the awesomeness stops. Hubby's main was the wagyu beef. The waiter had said that it was the brisket slow cooked for 12 hours. It's meant to be melt-in-your-mouth, but it wasn't. I think it was still quite chewy and stringy. The wagyu came with shimeji mushrooms, a potato galette, parsley puree dollop, and a parsnip puree dollop. The waitress also came out with their 'famous' paris mash. This was good. Creamy, buttery and smooth. Unfortunately, compared to some potato purees we have had recently (e.g. at Black by Ezard), it fell short.

wagyu beef brisket
My deconstructed bouillabaisse was better. The clear soup was full of flavour. Unfortunately, the barramundi and the prawn were both a touch overcooked. They gave me mash with this too! LOL. Also, complimentary salad was also given on the side.
barramundi and prawns
A palate cleanser of pink grapefruit and champagne granita was not really my cup of tea nor to my hubby's liking. It was slightly too bitter and a bit too strong on the champagne hit.
pink grapefruit granita
The dessert was pretty good though. Hubby had the nougat glace. There was a ring of caramelised banana on top of the nougat and served with a caramelly icecream with crushed peanuts.
nougat glace
I had the chestnuty mouse encased in a chocolate tube. The dots of quince (?) and pear however, was left untouched on my plate. The chestnut icecream was also pretty decent.

Chestnut cassis
Petit fours were served with coffee. There was green tea macarons, jelly dome, caramel, madeline and chocolate truffle. Not too bad. My favourite was the caramel, then the macaron.
petit fours
So all up, there were some hits and some misses. The miss was probably the slow and inattentive service which was witnessed until the final stages of the meal where even our bill was wrong. For the price, I daresay it could have been a bit better. If you had wanted to try this place out for yourself, be quick - as it's closing at the end of the year.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 4/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 26.5/40

Guillaume at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02)  9241 1999

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