Tuesday to Saturday
Lunch and Dinner
There is a certain comfort to be had from a long term relationship.....
This is proven when we arrive
at my 'surprise'
Of course I should have known, where else but The Bentley, our favourite Sydney restaurant, to celebrate my birthday.
Buggles knows me well.
As we arrive we scan the room, yes our favourite waitstaff are all present and accounted for....phew! We feel so at ease here, the food is always spectacular & it is matched by the wonderful, attentive service. You can ask for no more.
We once again manage to secure our favourite table by the window overlooking Crown Street. It is easy enough to imagine (at least for the evening) that we are locals.
Tonight we are going to embark on the tasting menu & in my case, the matching wines (there are benefits to not having a driver's licence).
With that in mind I probably shouldn't kick things off with the Popping Nitro Margarita, but having sampled it on our last visit, I find it too difficult to refuse.
With the arrival of my Margarita, Buggles' Sparkplug & the wonderful Iggy's bread with house made Grissini & Wafers, our meal begins.
Kingfish Ceviche with Pickled Diakon & Yuzu Mayonnaise is a revelation. The strips of Kingfish dissolve in the mouth, the Yuzu mayonnaise has a wonderful citrus tang & the daikon a very mild heat. I finish it & want more....truly spectacular.
Beetroot with asparagus, horseradish & Soy Beans...if only all vegetarian food was this good & this imaginative. The spheres of beetroot are tantalisingly spiced, the texture hard to describe, silky smooth and somewhat jelly like. Wonderful.
Spatchcock with pistachio puree, sweet corn, asparagus tips, polenta & a thigh meat croquette. The round of spatchcock breast meat is moist & delicious. But the highlight here is the thigh meat croquette, crunchy on the outside, moist & tender within & perfectly seasoned. A beautiful dish.
Cured Venison & Consomme with salsify, chestnut & garlic. The Venison presents as a thin strip reminiscent of a 'fruit roll-up', wonderfully tender & subtly flavoured, it is perfectly contrasted by the rich, gutsy consomme. The salsify adds a touch of much needed sweetness.
Roasted Duck Breast with Mushroom, endive & Kombu jelly. The duck breast is perfectly pink, tender & moist. It is easily on a par with the wonderful duck sampled at Vue de Monde. The mushroom 'soil' is rich, earthy and very textural, the endive ever so slightly bitter, while the Kombu jelly offers up a wonderfully savoury element. Sublime.
Fillet of Black Angus Beef with Beef Tendon & Burnt Onion Mayonnaise.
The beef is melt in the mouth tender and exquisitely medium rare; the crisp of beef tendon delightfully salty & the mayonnaise captures the burnt onion flavour precisely.
Creamed Stilton with Spiced bread & Cumquat. The sumptuous creamy stilton is perfectly offset by the lovely spiced bread crumbs; the slightly sour cumquat is the ideal foil, cutting through the richness of this wonderful cheese.
Caramelised Pineapple with Barley Cream & Beer Sorbet. The beer sorbet is incredibly light & airy with a very apparent 'beer' hit. The caramelised pineapple so intensely flavoured is takes you by surprise. The crumb mixture is a very welcome addition, it aids in soaking up every precious drop of the phenomenal caramelised liquid.
Milk Cake with Magnolia Ice Cream & White Chocolate.
This beautiful dish, a study in white is quite surprising. I have seen it on the menu many times, but have to admit it has never appealed. The milk soaked sponge is moist and buoyant, while the magnolia ice cream (frozen in liquid nitrogen) is icy cold & slightly 'crunchy'; the white chocolate shards are rich, sweet & creamy. The combination of textures is very appealing & the dish is quite simply magnificent.
9 courses done!
And with that, so ends one of the best meals in living memory. I am already anticipating our next visit....I can hardly wait.