Bennelong for Fancy Bitches

Hi Hi Hiiiiiiiii! Far out I’ve missed writing silly little things on my space of the interwebs. You know this is so random but I always wonder how it would feel to be a ‘popular’ blog that’s become famed and prestigious for some reason or another. I think to myself, how would I cope with that pressure? I can’t even post regularly when I have all the time in the world sometimes (living out of home and being single yo). One of my fave bloggers, Michelle from Hummingbird High speaks candidly about the pressures of being a blogger (and she’s got the fame to make credible claims about it too). It got me thinking, you can be anyone and do anything on the internet but if you don’t have a constant presence, it’s a matter of ‘you snooze you lose’. The world moves on anyway. Subscribers find new places to be. No one really cares hey? So it’s quite refreshing to know that I write because:

a) I’m a freelance copywriter and this is a great platform to practice my skills. I love to write and thus I will write regardless if anyone reads my work.

b) My blog is a sort of portfolio of my work for future clients – my style, my aesthetic, the way I use my words etc. It’s proven to be quite handy in the past too.

c) I eat at a LOT of restaurants and cafes and I get withdrawals occasionally if I don’t criticise/praise the places I dine at.

Sooooo there you have it! Also, yes I have chronic gastro issues and I have talked a lot about it here but I’ve figured it’s time to start living and get back into blogging – I can’t let it run my life and alter my hobbies anymore. It could very well be a permanent thing (even though I’m forking out a tonne to see an IBS specialist who might potentially cure me).bennelong1So with that dramatic prelude I bring you a post which – if I might add – actually has some decent photos for once! A couple of weeks ago, I took one of my best friends to Bennelong Restaurant, inside the Sydney Opera House. How cool is that? Every year we spoil each other with an ‘only can afford on special occasions’ restaurant. This year I kicked it up a few notches and we spent more than we usually would but she’s 24 now, so it was well worth it.bennelong2We had booked a table a few months in advance, and even then most of the dinner slots were filled! So we decided upon a nice Sunday lunch instead ($130 per person), a nice change from previous years. When we finally got there, we were greeted by the manager and led to our table. Wow, such attention to detail – from the swift top-up of water in your glass to the beautiful navy-toned menu and silver cutlery. I was in love. The section of Bennelong called The Restaurant (there are SEVEN different areas all with a specific dining purpose weow) seats 99, buzzing with laughter and the comforting hum of chatter from diners. We were first served two complimentary slices of Iggy sourdough with cultured butter, warm upon arrival and so crunchy yet soft yet fluffy yet amaaaazing. Mmm carbs.

A waiter had come over to check on my intolerances (I had pre-warned them lol) and went to ask the chef to see what items were safe for me. So thoughtful and handsome, wife me please? Turned out maybe a third of the menu was good for me so I was dying to try the Butter poached quail, macadamia rubble, Davidson plum jam. Birthday girl chose the Grilled Tasmanian octopus, radishes, smoked almonds, aioli, sherry caramel which made me think I would be getting food regret quite soon..bennelong4bennelong3As expected from this genre of eating (I really said that huh..get your head in the game Eeeeva), the portions were miniscule but when you see food presented so immaculately, it’s hard to care that it won’t satiate the appetite. My quail was blushed, cooked to a soft texture and quite game-y in flavour but complemented well with the tanginess of the jam and the buttery crunch of the macadamia pieces and nutty shards. So gewd. Birthday girl got herself the real winner though, the alluring curl of octopus tentacles with dots of aioli and the magenta pop of sliced baby radishes making appearances. The octopus didn’t need much to aid its sweet, subtle flavour and it was cooked to a perfect softness.bennelong7The mains had a lot to live up to after the entrees but boy was I still hungry as fuuudge. From the moment I saw the menu, I knew I had to get the Roasted Holmbrae duck, pickled new season cherries, young almonds, ume, shiso. Everything about this appealed to me and when my plate arrived, my eyes lit up like a fat kid who’s just seen  a pool of chocolate. Okay I exaggerate but whatever this was AMAZING. I mean this is why we fork out all our monies on this stuff versus more tangible material things. The duck had crispy rendered skin and was juicy enough to live on its own but the sour cherries and zesty ume gel really brought it to a whole other level. The young almonds were weird as hell though, citrus-y and strange. Dish of the day for sure though!bennelong6Ever the yin and yang friendship we have, birthday girl got the Arkady grass fed lamb, barletta onions, eggplant, salty iceplant, capers, nasturtiums. One for the carnivorous types, the meat was served medium rare, with a glossy jus making it shine and a salty hit of capers contrasting nicely with sweet onions and unctuous eggplant. bennelong5Served alongside our dishes were two serves of creamy roasted potatoes and curly lettuce leaves (unpictured but soooo pretty) with a tastebud-awakening hit of lemon for me (the dressing had onion so bye to you too Felicia).bennelong11bennelong13More than anything I was looking forward to the desserts, even though lactose intolerance stands in the way of me and sweet nirvana, I still wanted to try the Cherry jam lamington I begged my friend to get. I had seen it all over ze blogs and I knew I was going to love it. I opted for the Pavlova which I was told would be a cream-free option for my fussy bitch of a tummy. The gorgeous lammo was everything I imagined it to be OH MY GOD WHY AREN’T WE ALLOWED TO MARRY INANIMATE OBJECTS?! Clouds of semi-frozen coconut cream held the most adorable version of a lamington. All dark and ominous with its glossy ganache exterior, when cut into, the slice revealed murky-pink cherry ice cream, cherry pieces and I don’t remember what else. On a scale of intense to food coma rich, this was up there. Even though I could only manage a bite, it was worth it.bennelong10bennelong12My dish was even more beautiful than hers (ha who’s got food regret now?!) with a white as snow pavlova dome decorated with meringue pieces that looked not too dissimilar to the Opera House itself. An almost neon-yellow passionfruit coulis swum through the plate and when cut open, the pavlova had a sweet yet zingy passionfruit sorbet inside. The coulis was sour enough that you could deal with the truckload of sugar that was involved in the eating of this artwork. Suffice to say I had to stop near the end as I couldn’t fit another bite in. bennelong9Because 24 is kind of almost a quarter of a century old, birthday girl received the cutest birthday cupcake with a lonesome candle on top. I shouldn’t be surprised that the vanilla bean-studded fluffy and unbelievably moist cake was the best cupcake I’ve ever tried. Course it was, Mr Peter Gilmore you genius of a being.

When we left, we were comfortably full and because we’re silly little milennials, we went a little selfie-crazy in front of the harbour before heading home to snooze off the foods.

Bennelong Restaurant and Bar, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, (02) 9240 8000, find them on Bennelong Restaurant and Bar

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