D-day is finally upon us! After an 18-month wait the highly anticipated re-opening of Bennelong is now open for business.Today will see the Opera House in Sydney inaugurate its new look restaurant under the careful guidance of Michelin star chef Peter Gilmore.
Even though it has been suggested that Gilmore has had his eye on the prestigious site for over 13 years, the takeover has not be as straightforward.After closing its doors over a year ago, Bennelong has witnessed new owners come and go. The yearlong saga has seen a number of departures, potential bidders pulling out as well as fires, which have all left the landmark building empty. That was however until last March, when finally it was placed in the hands of one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Over the yearsPeter’s creative and original cuisine hasreceived anumber of Australian and international awards, which hasfirmly placed himat the forefront of Australia’s food scene.
In a 10- year agreement signed with the Sydney opera House, The Fink group, who also runs Otto, as well as joint partners of The Bridge Room, Byron Beach Cafe and the recently opened Firedoor in Surry Hills, will take control of Australia’s most infamous public space. Gilmore’s original restaurant, Quay, is also part of the restaurant group and it is hoped that the restaurant will achieve the same, if not more, success that his first venue achieved.
Equipped with a new state of the art kitchen that is estimated to have cost about $1.3m AUD, a team who have been undergoing trials, training and soft openings for more than a month, and the support of close friends and family, the restaurant is finally good to go.
The idea agreed between the Opera House and the restaurant is to keep the fine dining menu as in keeping with the setting, as possible, but whilst also allowing the restaurant to feel accessible to the thousands who grace its doors every year.
To do this they have created a concept of five different dining options, which are found amongst the different levels of the restaurant;
On the ground floor, guests can find the classic fine dining eatery, followed by a more modern and casual dining experience that is centered around a counter on the middle level. The aptly named ‘cured and cultured’ experience will allow for tapas style eating and the floor also includes a space set aside for a 30-seat private dining room. Going up another level ‘The Bar’ can be found. It allows up to 30 to enjoy the same menu as the central level, but with a later opening time and no bookings required. It boasts panoramic views of the harbour and has a cocktail menu that has been inspired by Australian produce and ingredients.The final gastronomic experience available at the new Bennelong will be in the shape of a private dining table within the chefs kitchen for up to six guests and a 10-course tasting menu to accompany you.
Peter Gilmore has a lot on his plate but with such amazing plans lined up, it will no doubt be a rip roaring success.
Findmore information about Bennelong here |www.sydneyoperahouse.com