Like its sibling Quay across the harbour, there are few Sydney restaurants that capture the city’s culinary spirit quite like Bennelong.

At this elegant diner set within the Opera House sails, Peter Gilmore and head chef Rob Cockerill serve a distinctly Australian menu that’s produce-led and conceived months in advance. A focus on simple and direct cooking allows the ingredients to sing. Vegetables are key to the offering, as is fermentation and curing.

Past highlights include roasted John Dory served on the bone with saltbush, turnips, kalian blossoms and a dashi emulsion. Also, a suckling pig sausage roll featuring in what Broadsheet called Sydney’s most lavish food and drink deal. But Bennelong’s undeniable signature is its pavlova; a spectacular sugary replica of the Opera House, with shards of meringue forming the sails.

Bennelong’s three-tiered design features honey-coloured brass and marblo; a soft resin that complements the materials already used in the Opera House. The restaurant is also the only vantage point inside the Opera House from which you can see the inside of the sails completely. But in a space replete with striking features, the most arresting will always be the unmatched view of the city skyline.

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Updated: July 12th, 2024

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