07 October 2010

Guillaume at Bennelong: SIFF 2010 Let's Do Lunch, Sydney Opera House (1 Oct 2010)

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000

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

Complimentary bread

Brown Brothers Limited Release Vermentino 2009

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?)

Salad of baby beans with pistachio pesto ($14)

Paris mash ($14)

Pavlova with passionfruit cream, mangoes, mixed berries and vanilla bean ice cream ($15)

Cappuccino — received as complimentary

Complimentary petit fours

Orange jelly

Strawberry tart with creme patisserie

Salted caramel

Bill $621 for 14 people

Menu logo

Table setting for 14

Dining room

Ceiling architecture

Decor view — a bit of a concrete jungle

Awards wall


Vivian - vxdollface said...

complement with an 'e' not 'i' :)
LOVE the Paris mash hehe.. heart-clogging!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi vivian, thanks heap for the spelling check. my 2 unit general English only gets me so far :-)

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Shame about the service. Any sort of snobbery isn't welcome, and definitely a bit of a faux pas when it's about a wine that they're serving! At least it sounds limited to an isolated individual.

OohLookBel said...

Doesn't the dining area look packed?! I wanted to try the LDL for a Monday, but apparently they aren't open then. Sad at missing out on the Paris mash... :(

J Bar said...

Everything looks yummy, especially the location. :)

Penny said...

Sorry to have to correct YOU, Vivian re: Simon's spelling of "complement" but he is in fact correct in the context in which he has used it here i.e. "to complement our dish" meaning "to go together with". You were getting it confused with his (similarly correct) usage of "complimentary bread" as in "given free of charge", OK? So well done Simon - your 2 unit English served you well!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi mademoiselle délicieuse, indeed an isolated individual it seems. perhaps having a bad day perhaps. you never know. we all have them.

hi bel, if you like your butter you like the paris mash :-)

hi j bar, actually a better view than aria i think which i find a little closed in. the high ceilings are quite nice.

hi penny, actually vivian did correct me. i originally had compliment for the dish and have since corrected it so now it's correct. thanks for spotting guys. i used to get 'your' and 'you're' wrong but i'm slowly getting used to correcting myself now. complement and compliment is next on my list. i'm sure i have a few compliment wrong in my other posts so i'm happy when my readers point them out to me :-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Vivian - didn't realise Simon had corrected the "i" to an "e" on your advice - at least he's getting better at spelling as a result! Ian will be cross with me for butting in so I will now butt out! Keep up the great food blogging Simon!

The Book Harvest Literary Agency said...

I've been dying to eat here, but yes, the regular menu is a little pricey. And I definitely see what you mean about the decor and the inside of the Opera House. That mash looks amazing though - butter and potatoes is a great combo.

Gummi Baby said...

Have to agree that leaving the restaurant to visit the toilets takes away from the experience, specially if there's a performance in one of the theatres and long queues to boot! Not sure if the food matches my expectations about Guillaume to be honest!

lifeis2munch said...

Wow! the pavlova looks very yummy! I might come here to celebrate with the pavlova once my cast is off... In the meantime I shall be content with drooling over your picture ;)

Adrian @ Food Rehab said...

Toilet is outside the restaurant?! Watch out winter! LOL Although, I would travel for that Paris Mash- hello!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi anonymous, thanks for the positive feedback :-)

hi BHLA, butter makes everything tastes better as they say. hope you get to try the restaurant once you've saved up your pennies.

hi gummi baby, yes it would be a bit of a nightmare if a performance was on. a very long wait indeed for the toilets.

hi lifeis2munch, please drool away but i hope you get to try the pavlova soon

hi adrian, it's still inside the opera house but shared so no fear about being cold if winter ;-)

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