Food hits the spot except service
Upon arriving at my booked table of 14 it's the first time I've stepped foot in Guillaume at Bennelong and it coincides with my 2 year blogiversary. A great way to start the first day of the Sydney International Food Festival. I choose the light and drinkable Brown Brothers Limited Release Vermentino 2009 to go with my main which our waiter is bemused by me taking a photo of the bottle and remarks it's not that special — not something you really want to hear or should actually say to customers I think. We noticed all the waiters are male and this particular one didn't seem that friendly or welcoming — unfortunately I've had better service at McDonalds. But we did know another table group in the restaurant that had a different waiter who was much better and near the end of our meal he looked after our table as well and was thankfully much better. The Let's Do Lunch dish of Roasted free range chicken breast with a tombé of silverbeet on a bed of cauliflower puree, olives and lemon confit jus was a crowd pleaser. Chicken was cooked very nicely and was moist — I would have loved the skin to be more crispy in style though. All the flavours worked well on the plate. To complement our dish we ordered the tasty Salad of baby beans with pistachio pesto ($14) and very buttery Paris mash ($14) which probably had 1 kilo of potatoes to 1 block of butter — hence why it was so yellow. We shared 2 plates of each which worked out nicely for everyone to try.
A few of us stayed for the Pavlova with passionfruit cream, mangoes, mixed berries and vanilla bean ice cream ($15) which was everything you'd hoped for in a dessert. The menu listed coffee with petit fours as $8 extra but the SIFF website clearly says the Let's Do Lunch should be a main with coffee and choice of wine or beer. I mentioned this to the Maitre D' and he kindly offered the coffee for free to our table — I feel this should be corrected though on the menu. Surprisingly we received a selection of 3 types of petit fours as well. My Cappuccino was decent and thankfully not too bitter and I always like seeing the choice of brown sugar cubes.
PROS: Nicely cooked dishes and sides, Water views, Pavlova was not too sweet and had a nice selection of fruit
CONS: Coffee not listed as included for Let's Do Lunch, Some of the service was a bit non-friendly and perfunctory, The decor is a bit dated with lots of concrete around, Toilet is outside the restaurant, Normal menu is expensive
MUST TRY: Let's Do Lunch main, Paris mash at least once, Pavlova nice way to end meal
Let's Do Lunch menu
Roasted free range chicken breast with a tombé of silverbeet on a bed of cauliflower puree, olives and lemon confit jus ($35) including wine (and coffee?)
Table setting for 14