Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point Sydney, NSW 2000
Low wide steps sweep up into this inner sanctum as the soaring ceiling and lightspangled water of Sydney Harbour are revealed. A sense of quiet reverence prevails; in the background, the tinkle of knife and fork on fine china. Guillaume Brahimi’s food is easily equal to the space, by turn elegant, considered and persuasive. Don’t miss eel, sandwiched with silverbeet and served with briny oyster, floured and fried sot-l’y-laisse (the chicken ‘oyster’) and nuggets of truffle. Fresh squid, cut raw in tagliatelle strips, swims in rich sea urchin butter. A triumph of contrast and texture, sweetbread is paired with tongue and napped with a gingerbread sauce. Rouget (small red mullet), done elegantly with prawn, mussel and clam and a crystal-clear broth poured over at the table, is a cut above the beaches of Marseilles, while the passionfruit soufflé, a tour de force of airy lightness, is an Aussie summer captured.
Wine:The gravitas you’d expect, with an emphasis on French and Australian wines; 19 by the glass
And…Guillaume is due to leave the House in early 2014. Cue suitable applause.