If someone offers to take you to dinner, nominate Bacchus. If your boss planning a business lunch, suggest Bacchus. It's your birthday? Convince someone to take you to Bacchus. But above all, if you can't weasel your way there on the back of someone else's paycheque, take yourself. South Bank's poolside bar and high class restaurant is fine dining not to be missed.
Looking out over Grey St, set two storeys above in the Rydges hotel, Bacchus oozes style and sophistication. Outside is a massive and glamourous bar situated next the pool. The interior is straight up sexy. Think sultry chocolate tables, rich gold accents, dripping designer light fittings and spongey geometric carpet. Dining here makes you feel part of an exclusive society, and the service and food doesn't fall short.
Bread as a starter is always a nice gesture but Bacchus go one better. On our night a shot glass-sized serving of potato and leek soup topped with a truffle infused cream was served. Consider the palate whetted.
Each plate served is a masterpiece, and the chefs here should be called artists. Every dish was a highlight, but the rabbit entree ($24) a beautifully stacked baby leek terrine with roasted hazelnut puree, pickled shemji mushrooms and croutons can't be missed. Nor can the main lamb loin and slow-cooked shoulder ($42), plated on black with a soft pumpkin puree, lemon polenta chips, crispy potato and baby vegetables.
Come dessert time, a giant board with nine cheese varieties was heaved onto our table while our waiter Jean-Baptiste kindly explained, in his delicious French accent, the flavours and countries each came from. For our round-the-world cheese voyage we settled on the Pleasant Ridge from the US, Langres goats cheese with a champagne rind from France and a decadent triple cream brie also from France.
The chocolate and pear dessert ($21) was a performance piece in itself. Delivered swiftly to the table, Jean-Baptiste was suddenly wearing a white cotton glove and yielding a miniature gravy boat of hot couverture chocolate. He then proceeded to artistically pour the liquid over the shimmering balloon of chocolate to melt the shell and reveal a bounty of soft almond ice cream and pear pieces. This is my kind of treasure.