For the best Australian food make a reservation at Sydney’s iconic Opera House where Bennelong offers a unique fine dining experience described as ‘Australia on a plate.’ Here a culturally significant and seasonal menu showcases the magnificence of Australian produce and celebrates the country’s bounty of top-quality wines.
The award-winning restaurant is renowned for constantly pushing the boundaries of Australian food and cuisine, while still staying true to the terroir. A visit to Bennelong will serve to tantalize both the taste buds and the inquisitive mind.
Discover this on: Inspiring Australia
The endless possibilities of Australian cuisine
To define Australian food is not a simple task. Stereotypical views of ‘shrimps on the barbie’ fall short of the mark, although the country’s barbeque talent is legendary. A multicultural country, modern Australian cuisine reflects the people with an eclectic offering. Prepare to taste Greek, Chinese, English, Japanese, Lebanese, Indian, Indigenous and French influences amongst others, both in technique and taste. Australian dishes are often presented as thoughtful yet unpretentious plates that let produce and flavors do the talking.
Peter Gilmore, Executive Chef at Bennelong, once described Australian cuisine as “Reflecting our unique land where you can grow just about any product. It’s a modern society drawing on multicultural influences. We’re able to interpret with freedom and an open mind.”
For travel inspiration: Australia destination guide
Hearts close to the terroir
Executive Chef Peter Gilmore leads the team in the Bennelong kitchen. One of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, Peter describes his cuisine as ‘food inspired by nature’. A passionate gardener, he is hailed as one of the first chefs in Australia to embrace heirloom varieties of vegetables.
Together with Head Chef Rob Cockerill, Peter works closely to build invaluable relationships with producers as the centrepiece of the cuisine. These include Australian farmers, fishermen and growers many of whom cultivate produce exclusively for Bennelong and its sister restaurant Quay. Both are among Australia’s most awarded fine dining restaurants.
A love for all seasons
The crux of modern Australian food is using the right produce at the right time.
“We will look at what produce is in its prime, and not just vegetables and fruits. We ask ourselves; What fish and seafood are swimming off the coast at the moment? What meat are at the peak of their seasons?,” says Head Chef Rob Cockerill.
“This is something that traditionally the Indigenous people, have been doing forever. Following the seasons and maintaining the environment, so that the next season will be just as plentiful as the last.”
While the change of the seasons in Australia might be subtle in comparison to Europe or the United States, throughout the years the chefs at Bennelong have gained a deeper understanding of the country’s seasons. This also includes how seasonal changes affect the produce that lives and grows locally.
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A delectable menu
Sophisticated, relaxed and rooted in the local terroir, the dishes at Bennelong celebrate the complex mix of cultures that form modern Australia and Australian food. The menu celebrates seasonal and local produce that promotes Australian flavors.
Depending on the season, try smoked mackerel with a preserved lemon puree, green wheat and a swordfish bone marrow consommé. Or savor mud crab congee with chawanmushi and palm heart. Maremma pasture-raised duck with hunter sausage, cherries and Kampot pepper, and a smoked eggplant salad with young pistachios, roasted pine nuts, labneh, and crisp falafel on top of baba ghanoush could also tempt your tastes.
Dishes served at this Australian luxury restaurant are built on complex flavors that that you on a journey. At the ground roots of the menu is a desire to showcase quality, predominantly Australian ingredients in pure yet creative form.
A site of historical significance
Bennelong is set in arguably one of the most spectacular buildings in one of the world’s most beautiful city locations. The Sydney Opera House, the most famous piece of architecture on Sydney’s Circular Quay, holds an important place in history. And the Bennelong Restaurant is built on a site enriched with history of communal eating and telling stories.
The site is named after an Aboriginal man named Bennelong who had his hut on this historic spot around 200 years ago. Bennelong became a figurehead for relations between Aborigines and the colonists at Government House, which was once located at this point.
You can enjoy fine Australian food at Bennelong on our Inspiring Australia luxury guided tour. With each day bookended by exquisite cuisine and magnificent hotels, this is the ultimate way to discover the delights of Australia.