SYDNEY • The Fink Group opened Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House about seven months ago in a breathtaking space newly redesigned by Sydney architect Tim Greer.
The restaurant now has the grandeur and acoustics of a cathedral, in addition to some of the most spectacular views in town.
It is just one of the shell-like structures on Bennelong Point that make up the famous Sydney Opera House, which was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who got the job when he won an international design competition in 1957.
French chef Guillaume Brahimi previously ran Guillaume here. Since then, stylish new tables made from brass and Marblo - a polymer-based hybrid material invented in the late 1970s - have been installed in the main dining room, along with cognac-coloured lighting by Briton Tom Dixon that seems to warm up all the bare steel and granite.
One of Australia's best-known chefs, Peter Gilmore, is in charge of the kitchen. The 47-year-old is famous for his work at the fine- dining restaurant Quay, which overlooks the Sydney Opera House from just across the water.
The food at Bennelong is not what you would expect at one of the city's biggest tourist magnets. It is beautiful, modern and delicious, a celebration of Australian produce, meat and seafood, from Fraser Island's spanner crab to Hervey Bay's scallops.
Bennelong includes a main dining room, a slightly more casual lounge upstairs in which you can order snacks such as Sydney rock oysters, and a bar. Although dining here means you miss out on the spectacular, soaring design of the main dining room, it affords a view of twinkling lights and boats sliding across the water at night.