Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bécasse: Stairway to heaven

Just returned from dinner at Bécasse, so this is just a quick picture post on the meal, mainly so that it can be reminisced about when the memory fades.

Each year, we celebrate his birthday at a restaurant du jour (and I get to choose it!). I tried booking six weeks ahead for last Saturday night, but Bécasse was booked out. Such is the price of popularity. So last week, we went to Felix (in Ash Street, one of my previous visits here). This week, we rocked up to a virtually deserted Westfield shopping centre and ascended the stairway to heaven (long escalator from Pitt St) to Bécasse .

We had: Five-course degustation ($150 each). There is a choice of 2 dishes for the main and dessert.
Plus: Truffle risotto ($20 supplement) - this was a special, with the truffles from Tarago near Goulburn. You can replace one of the standard entrees with this.
We drank: Kronenburg beer ($10 ea), Sparkling mineral water ($10 pp)

The service: Waitstaff were attentive, friendly, professional.
The atmosphere: not too formal, lovely chandeliers, velvet banquettes ('bonkettes') quite comfortable, small velvet stool for my handbag, moderate buzz of conversation from the other tables, better ambience and more intimate than the previous Bécasse, in my opinion.
The food: Elegant presentation, contemporary flavour combinations, beautifully prepared (natch).

Here are some pictures...

clockwise from top left:
canape: lime mascarpone on puff pastry;
amuse bouche: cauliflower and scallop veloute with carrot jelly underneath
bread: fresh and warm, served with wakame butter with black salt
Also: you can glimpse the "Chef's Table" and kitchen behind the circular peepholes on the wall 

Yellowfin tuna, confit octopus, mandarin, white radish (there's a slice of oyster jelly in there, too)
Hapuka (NZ fish, sourced locally) coddled in squid ink, with mussels (amazing black 'skin')
Mushroom risotto with shaved truffle (I was slightly disappointed that the truffle was not strongly fragrant against the risotto; the pieces seemed dried out?)
Also: the table from which the sommelier served the wines

Forgotten vegetables (swedes, celeriac, kohlrabi, etc) with pork jowl and yabby tails.
This was served on a piece of rock (very Flintstones) and came with a smouldering piece of cedar bark that imparted the smell of smoke. Oh, I just love the smell of woodsmoke!

Glenloth pheasant, boudin blanc with Armagnac jus (very intense flavours)
Wagyu cooked 'a la plancha' with mushrooms and lime/wasabi jus (the beef was amazingly tender)

Pre-dessert: Granny Smith apple jelly, sorbet, marshmallow
Dessert: Silken lemongrass and lime caramel, with passionfruit and vanilla yoghurt sorbet (scattered with edible flowers, so pretty)

My dessert: Chocolate cadeau with salted black cumin caramel. The gold leaf fluttered in the breeze (aka air conditioning), the crunchy base was delightfully sweet.

To finish: petits fours of raspberry macarons and chocolate ganache; tea.
Also: closeup of the bonkette.

Final Summary
A lovely place to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion. There was a slight wait between courses, but the great service made up for this (as an aside, it seemed like the waitstaff were all female apart from the sommelier). The meal was pricey and I'd rank the food below our previous birthday dinners at Quay and Sepia though it was of the same high standard. I'd love to try Bécasse again, maybe a spring or summer menu. Oh, and they gave us a couple of brioche from the Bécasse bakery as a goodbye gift (yum)!

Bécasse is at:
Level 5, Westfield Sydney, Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
Ph: 02 9283 3440

Becasse on Urbanspoon


  1. I can't decide between wanting to go here, or Quarter 21 as I've seen posts on both and they both look so lovely...decisions decisions.

  2. Wow, just wow. Everything looks so elevated... plus, anyone who has a pre-dessert is a friend of mine!

  3. Oh wow. This is definitely a meal to be remembered! Good thing you took pictures!

  4. I'm amazed at the intimate size if the dining room at the new Becasse. How very civilised! Stunning meal and a great choice of venue!

  5. thats for taking pictures! dinner looked great :)

  6. Looks like a fab meal :) its def on my foodie hit list

  7. I keep going back to the Chocolate cadeau with salted black cumin caramel, what a thing of beauty that is huh.

  8. The presentation of all the dishes is stunning. Fine dining indeed!

  9. A small velvet stool for your handbag. That is so classy! The places I go to, I put my bag on the floor, but if the floor is too dirty, I try to hang it on the back of my chair. Gasp if it falls to the ground with my camera in it. I looooooong for a handbag stool.

    I've heard of the Chef's table, but never seen one in real life. Was there anyone eating there when you dined?

    Gorgeous dishes and fabulous write up. I can almost taste it with your lovely descriptions.

    I enjoy a little wait between courses when it's fine dining. You get to reflect on the dish you just had as well as having time to get excited about the next dish.

    Love that Hapuka was on the menu. I get a kick out of seeing NZ ingredients overseas, even if Sydney isn't all that far away!

  10. Interesting to see a review where you weren't bowled over by it... Hope it was a great birthday, Bel!

  11. lol at bonkettes! We had the truffle risotto and thought it was amazing. I do like the individual detail given to each dish, and the beautiful plates used.

  12. nice ....looks great!such awesome plating