Just by chance on our recent trip to Sydney where we happened to be staying at the Radisson Blu for the weekend did we realize that we had a Good Food Guide 2 Hat restaurant at the hotel.
Having moved into the Radisson from its original location the Bentley has continued to build on its stellar reputation by offering an innovative, delightful, well considered and constructed dining experience.
We chose the Saturday night to dine at the restaurant and every Saturday they offer 2 different degustation options – a 5 course or 8 course opportunity to sample the magic that the chefs weave. Of course we chose the 8 course option because it gave us the chance to really indulge in some of the most amazing food and really get a sense of what was on offer.
Along with this there were 2 options for matching wines – either a $90 range or the premium range of wines that was $150 per head…and of course we chose the premium wines and what a real treat they were.
What I love about fine dining and eating in a restaurant where the team that serve you really know their stuff is the attention to detail, without being overbearing. The other thing is that all the staff really knew and understood the menu they were serving and the Sommelier understood and explained the significance of each wine and the role that is played with each course and exactly why it was chosen, where it was from and a little about the winemaker. All of this just added to the occasion and created a truly memorable experience.
As with all top restaurants we began with the Amuse and then we jumped right into the menu and wines.
Firstly we were served Alfonsino with yellow pepper, marigold and finger lime. This was such a perfect way to start the meal and the finger lime added that extra tartness that really engaged and woke our mouths up with each bite.
This was followed by Kangaroo with plum, onion and freekah. Oh my goodness another taste sensation (you will get used to these sorts of remarks all the way through this review as there really was not one course that disappointed and each had stand out elements that you just could not fault). The plum added an amazing surprise and gave the whole dish an element of freshness but did not detract from the kangaroo at all.
The bass groper was next and this was served with shaved pumpkin, green olive and shiso. The stand out of this dish was the sweetness of the groper and the just blanched pumpkin that completed the dish completely and was a stunning addition to complete the dish.
Then it was time for the duck with pickled muntries, comta and kohlrabi. The duck was melt in your mouth perfection and I have not had kohlrabi since I worked as a chef in Melbourne a million years ago and it added yet another dimension to the dish with along with the muntires and comta completed the dish perfectly.
Pork cheek with garlic and yoghurt puree served with grilled radiccho and jamon was another stand out. The pork cheek was seared and cooked to perfection and the grilled radicchio did not diminish the bitterness of it and yet again added a sense of complexity to the dish.
Before we went to 2 of the most amazing sweet courses we were served the wagyu skirt steak that was served with charred onion and woodear mushroom. This again was melt in your mouth, full of flavor and a truly memorable dish. Each of the meat courses offered very different flavors and the flow of them was well thought out and a real delight.
And now to what we agreed, if we had to choose, were the 2 highlights of the night. Firstly it was the apple sorbet that was served with fennel and native thyme. Oh my what the most perfect palette cleanser this was. It was full of apple flavor and was the most perfect sorbet I have ever had.
The final course of the night was simply the best – sweet corn ice cream with puffed sorghum wheat and dried blueberries. There really are not enough words to describe the delight of this dish. It was surprising, light, fresh, clean on the palette, filled with amazing flavors that just worked incredibly well together and was the most amazing way to complete these 8 courses.
Finally there was some small petite fours the complete a truly memorable night and what I think has been the best degustation dining experience that I have ever had.
Now for the wines…I would love to list them all here and tell you all about them, and the restaurant did say they were going to send me the list and I am still waiting for that but I was paying so much attention to what the sommelier was saying that I did not take notes.
We did however experience some truly memorable wines including:
Terjola Tsiska Dry White 2015 from Georgia (I was not even aware that they made in Georgia) but it was full of complex flavors and an interesting first wine.
Then there was the 2014 Chablis Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre, a simple chablis that we rated as one of the best of the night.
The Cote du Py Morgan was a 2012 vintage filled with raspberry notes and a nice acidic response in the mouth that went perfectly with the duck course.
The Vina Tondonia Gran Reserve 2004 was dry with dark fruit top notes and a more traditional finishing palette but a delight none the less.
The 2015 Olberg Riesling was the perfect riesling for dessert, not too sweet with an slight acid after taste but a fresh palette and just added another dimension to the sweets.
The final wine for the night was from Sauterne and was a 2000 Barsac Permier Grand Cru Classe. It was filled with toffee, sweet fruit and a true delight.
This was truly a night to remember and if you are in or heading to Sydney then do yourself a favor and check out this amazing restaurant I guarantee you will not be disappointed.