Bennelong's food is somehow just as show-stopping as its views.
Erina Starkey and Ben Hansen
Published on July 09, 2015
Updated on August 14, 2023


Peter Gilmore has ditched the fancy, fiddly techniques he's famous for (see: Snow Egg) and created an informal menu with approachable prices at the Sydney Opera House. Can you believe it? Bloody brilliant, thanks, Pete!

Gilmore and co. redesigned the space over a period of 18 months and the end result is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Channelling Jorn Utzon, the interior is a mid-century Danish look with Hermes chairs, copper fixtures, orange carpet and a striking light installation of golden, melting orbs by Tom Dixon. The most beautiful feature is, of course, Sydney Harbour, which you can see in an epic panorama which spans the bridge, the promenade, the quay and even the tops of the CBD.

No longer just a destination for rich Gallic-lovers (sorry Guillaume), Bennelong has more casual and relaxed optoins than it's ever had before. There are a few different ways to experience the venue. For drinks and nibbles, head to The Bar. Or else, you'll need to choose between The Restaurant and its three-course dining experience or The Counter for a more accessible two-course meal.

Brett Stevens

Start your night with yuzu, fig, honey and lemon. That's all packed into a cocktail by the way; it's called the Village Vanguard, and it combines these bold flavours with a pair of dry and fruity gins. Alternatively, start with something stiffer in the form of the Pillars of the Community, Bennelong's take on a negroni with Four Pillars navy strength gin, Full Circle Chinotto gin, Campari and rosso vermouth.

At The Restaurant, the three-course menu will set you back $180 and is ever-changing. Possible highlights to start include mud crab congee and shaved squid with house noodles and koji butter. As for the mains, you may find an aged rack of Kurobuta pork or Sicilian-style milk curd ravioli on the menu.

The dessert options are simply stated. There's cherry jam lamington, a luxury take on the nostalgic chocolate crackle and a brilliant replica of the Opera House in pavlova form, complete with meringue shard sails. The body has been piped in a gloss and matte pattern of Italian meringue and double cream, and the fruit — beautifully poached rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries — is hidden within.

Images: Nikki To and Destination NSW.

Updated Tuesday, March 21 2023.

Appears in:

The Best Restaurants in Sydney


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