Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Becasse, Clarence St, Sydney

Becasse, Clarence St, Sydney
Tuesday 15 August, 2006

I visited Becasse many years ago in its former location - Surry Hills. It used to live in the site that is now occupied by Restaurant Assiette but moved to Clarence St in July 2005. The current location is a show stopper - it's so elegant as you enter the premises and sets the tone for a great night ahead.

As you open the clear glass doors a large floor to ceiling black velvet curtain blocks your entrance. As you ponder what to do for a moment it's a dramatic way to enter - you sweep the curtain across to reveal a few carpeted steps into the main part of the restaurant. The lighting is spectacular - large round fittings dominate the main dining room - they sparkle like diamonds. The flower arrangements on the front desk are stunning and the greeting we received was enough to make us both feel like we wanted to move in permanently.

Before I arrived I did some research on their french fare. As Franz Scheurer - Australian Gourmet Pages states, "The food is French / Mod Oz and nothing short of superb, presented with flair"... "One of the few places where main courses are every bit as good as the entrees. Desserts, so often the weak link, shine"... "Value for money is astounding".

The Becasse website lists all their awards, accolades, quotes from notable foodies etc and offers a great insight to potential diners. It's rare that you find a restaurant with a mission statement but Becasse do. It's listed as:

Bécasse Restaurant was opened in November 2001 with the aim of serving great Modern French food and wine at a reasonable price in a comfortable, elegant location. We aim to provide service that is professional, yet still relaxed and friendly. At Bécasse our primary objective is to exceed both our customers and our own expectations. We wish not to become stagnant, but to continually evolve and to constantly strive to improve upon what we have already achieved.

We ordered pre-dinner drinks and commented on how wonderful it was to have your gin & tonic delivered in a massive tumbler (now, that's my kind of drink). The menu was delightful and we were blown away by how tempting everything sounded.....decisions, decisions. After we ordered, a few complimentary servings were delivered to the table:

- small pastry shell filled with goats cheese and roma tomato (it melted in your mouth)
- small teacup filled with mushroom & bacon soup (it was incredibly hot)
- Warm baked bread rolls with butter (very more-ish)

For entree I ordered the duck special - light custardy creme brulee look alike and champagne jelly served with mushroom truffle sauce and thin slices of duck (I have no other words to describe this other than WOW!). For main course I ordered the Seared loin of swordfish with crushed Nicola potato and caponata dressing. It was perfectly prepared and we shared the Broccoli with beurre noisette and toasted almonds - yum! After our mains we were delivered another complimentary dish - tropical fruit salad in shot glass (it wadelightfulul).

I have a confession to make....this is the first time I have no recollection what my dinner buddy ordered! We devoured our meals and enjoyed every moment and the only thing I can recall is dessert. This was primarily because I didn't order any anregretteded it as soon as it arrived at the table. My dinner buddy ordered the Rum and muscatel omelette souffle with Grand Marnier ice cream. This dessert had to be seen to be believed - it arrived at the table and looked like a fat pancake but it was actually a souffle - light, fluffy and divine. I had to try some.

As we neared the end of our evening Baz Luhrman arrived with some friends. Becasse is that kind of place, understated but a show stopper.

You have to go.

Becasse - 204 Clarence St, Sydney - (02) 9283 3440



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