Modern Australian

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney

The Sydney Opera House is an international beacon, drawing many visitors to Australia. Its fine dining restaurant, Bennelong, pays homage to the previous owners of the land and the Aboriginal man who became an intermediary between the local people and the early settlers, bridging the gap between two civilisations.

The restaurant is another addition to Sydney’s dining scene from the Fink Group, which owns Quay and OTTO in Sydney and Brisbane, as well as co-owning Firedoor, The Bridge Room and Beach in Byron Bay. Given the iconic location and history of the site, it’s no surprise that Australian produce and wine take centre stage.

The restaurant’s philosophy celebrates the flavour, diversity and quality of Australian produce, and is committed to building strong partnerships with farmers, fishermen and providores. Executive Chef, Peter Gilmore, has more than just a few accolades under his belt.

An occasional guest on Masterchef Australia, Peter became a household name after his signature Quay dessert, the Snow Egg, was touted as one of the toughest Masterchef challenges. Peter describes his cuisine as “food inspired by nature”, a philosophy that is evident across both his restaurants.

At Bennelong, Peter works alongside his Senior Sous Chef from Quay, Robert Cockerill, who has now assumed the position of Head Chef at Bennelong. Robert has a similar philosophy to Peter, with a hands-on approach to produce and an appreciation for the seasons.

The restaurant is split into three levels, with a signature ‘Peter Gilmore dining experience’ available on the lower level. His unique take on Australian cuisine will present options such as Grilled Tasmanian Octopus dressed with smoked almonds, aioli and sherry caramel, while Macleay Valley Suckling Pig is served with confit organic carrots, pickled onion and black and white garlic. Dessert is the epitome of nostalgia with Pavlova and a Cherry Jam Lamington.

On the two upper layers, a more casual menu is served with a focus on raw food and a choice of bar seating where you can watch the chefs at work on the middle tier, or a casual dining area on the top floor. Dishes include Sydney Rock Oysters, Raw Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon and Smoked Wagyu Tartare.

Coveted Australian design firm, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG), designed the multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The tri- level layout seamlessly blends with the Sydney Opera House’s ochre and natural tones, complementing the iconic granite walls and ribs. Felt travels from floor to ceiling, softening the space and sound, and in the centre, Larrakitj artwork from the Yolngu People connects the site to the traditional owners of the land and the restaurant’s namesake.

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