Sunday, 15 March 2009

Guillaume at Bennelong

Long time amongst Sydney’s finest, first time visit. Could have been Anna Kournikova, looks smoking hot but no talent to go with it (tennis talent that is).

Sitting in one of the sails of the Sydney Opera house, the Bridge so close you could eat off it, an absolutely gorgeous location to take that someone special for that special occassion. All it needs is a special meal and the man who attempts to deliver is that delightful Frenchman Guillaume Brahimi. The setting is grand, only glass windows and ceilings separate you and the wild, round tables act as mini stages to present a master chef’s degustation.

Following the Russian glamour’s career, the food started with a bang bang, East meets West triangle of quickly seared yellowfin tuna, bounded by basil infused with a tangy soy and mustard seed vinaigrette. Taking a dive, but not as far as Kournikova’s ranking, thin slices of mojama (cured tuna) simply arranged with olives, sweet pimento, fennel and a yolk runny quail egg. Quiver with enjoyment as you smear the creamy and gamey duck foie gras parfait garnished with shaved truffle onto the rich brioche, a bit of champagne gel celebrates the two food indulgences. Two thick medallions of scallops, meaty firm and sweet, fine examples of the gems from the sea, gently sealed and served with a sweet creamy cauliflower puree, Shiitake mushrooms and a salty savoury rich stock reduction of veal jus.

Reaching heights never touched in Anna’s career, fillet of blue eye trevalla perfectly pan fried, textural contrast in the springy soba like black ink pasta and firm clams, drizzled with a buttery sauce of herbs and spring onion and roasted baby carrots. Taking steak, red wine and mash to the extreme, wagyu beef striploin cooked to medium rare and sliced, served with sautéed baby spinach and a dense gravy of shallot and a pungent merlot sauce. The Paris mash on the side is a heart stopper much like the pegs on Kournikova, so smooth and creamy it was probably made with 30 sticks of butter. At least.

They were kind enough to let us substitute one of the desserts and no unforced errors from either. A safe slice of Opera, layered sponge cake and quality dark chocolate with coffee ice cream, exceeded by the passionfruit soufflé served in a cute copper pot, perfectly raised, the fluffy soft kind you’d want to sleep on.

It certainly was 7 courses to foodgasm with a few palette refreshers inbetween. If this was a lady’s tennis, it would be Ana Ivanovic.

5 / 5 yums!
Where? Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney, NSW
What? Degustation $180

Left to Right
: Yellowfin Tuna, Mojama, Duck Foie Gras, Scallops, Blue Eye Trevalla, Wagyu Beef, Opera, Souffle

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