Tag Archives: Brent Savage

Monopole, Potts Point

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I’m here with a dear friend, who, when we see each other, kindly lets me drag her wherever I want to go. Now that she has moved to Melbourne though, our catch ups are less frequent, it’s often a quick coffee on work trips.  Our last big meal was a splurge at Vue de Monde.

Monopole is the younger sassy sister of Bentley, opening in December 2012.  It is dark, but more of a sultry dark, rather than I-can’t-see-what-I’m eating-or-who-I’m eating-with dark.  Fine wines line the walls, and there is bar seating as well as table seating, if you’d prefer to see the kitchen team in action. The most expensive dish on the menu is $28, which for this pedigree is frankly very good. There is also a $65 seven course tasting menu, though I think if there are two of you, you are better off ordering 3 different courses each and sharing them, you’ll be well full and likely come out ahead (we ordered 7 dishes and it was one or two too many, we were stuffed). The tables are pretty close together, so we had a good chat with our convivial neighbours and eyed off each others choices.

If you’re vegetarian you will really enjoy some of their dishes –

Sugar Snaps and Celtuce with Savoury Lemon Curd. Beautiful fresh vegetables, but what made it a standout was that lemon curd.  Very clever, very delicious.


Polenta with Baby Corn – this was a much creamier, more runny style than what you would have in a traditional Italian polenta.


And for the meatlovers –

Chicken Liver Parfait with Grilled Sourdough.  It was good texturally, not a smooth as others I’ve add and probably not the best flavour. What I did like is that they were generous with the sourdough.  Often with pate and parfait you get a few little slivers that are never enough.


Roasted Pork Neck, Mustard Beans Parsley & Mint.  Nice smokey flavour to the pork (it was served very pink though which may not be to everyone’s taste) with nice crunchy beans.


And then from the sea – Snapper, Pumpkin, Zucchini & Black Olive.  Like the other dishes, a nice sized serve, and a gorgeous pumpkin puree that we scooped up with bread, reluctant to leave any of it behind.

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There were only two desserts, but I liked one and my friend liked the other, so we ordered both.  Very generous serve and one would certainly have been enough for both of us. I thought the desserts here were much better than Bentley.

Strawberries and Cream with white chocolate milk crumb. Stunning looking dish, with a combination of fresh and dehydrated strawberries, and good texture from the addition of the chocolate crumb.

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My pick was Pineapple, Lime Meringue & Coconut with Mint & Verjus Granita.  It was a hot Summer night, and I though this sounded very refreshing, which it was. A great flavour and texture combination.

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Monopole, 71A Macleay St, Potts Point Ph (02) 9360 4410

Monopole on Urbanspoon

Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Sydney CBD

I did something a seasoned restaurant diner would normally never do. I went to Bentley on the second day it opened. Usually, I will give a new place a few weeks to find their feet and resolve any teething issues.  But my thinking was that Bentley isn’t “new new” – it’s a solid team that has just changed premises (and I’d been to the Crown Street original) – so I figured they would be on top of the situation.  The new premises are in the CBD at the Raddison Blu Hotel, on the former Bistro Fax site.  There’s been a bit of a restaurant migration to the CBD of late, which tells me that the corporate dollar, while sparser than it used to be following that terrible acronym the GFC, is still important.

The fit out is what you would call modern elegance.  Plush carpet, beautiful veneer tables, gorgeous cutlery and plates (looks like the same guy that does the handcrafted dinnerware for Ormeggio?), with what Gourmantic aptly described as “pick up sticks” hanging from the ceiling.  On the service side, the staff were simply wonderful.  We had a little family challenge and drama that day, as is prone to happening in our household, and our booking time became somewhat fluid.  They were fabulous about accommodating us.  The staff were also all very knowledgeable about the dishes, and clearly adoring of the talents of the chef.

And if you’re up for a drink there is a seriously awesome wine list.

The menu too has that trend of modern minimalist wording. I’m fairly fluent in the matter of Language Menus, having passed LM101 some years ago and now doing the Advanced Course. But I did need some help with things like purslane, cardoons, quangdongs, samphire and the like (a succulent, an artichoke thistle, a fruit, a ‘salty’ plant, for those who also require interpretation).   After our well informed waitress had enlightened us, this is what we ordered.

Southern Calamari + Carrots + Squid Ink + Sea Blight. How pretty! The paper thin carrots looked like a flower. We got too busy eating it, but underneath was this gorgeously swirled calamari and a delicious squid ink sauce, which I soaked up with the excellent sourdough.


Moreton Bay Bugs + Smoked Sweetcorn + Shellfish Broth – delicious and beautifully cooked.


It came with a side to mop up the broth.  We’d been eyeing this off at the adjacent table.  From a distance it seriously looked like a brownie, but a brownie with your main course? Turned out it was a squid ink brioche.  The squid ink served in my mind to give colour rather than flavour, as it did just taste like a traditional buttery brioche. It came with a sea urchin emulsion, which I wasn’t a fan of.


Pork Loin + Macadamia Milk + Wattle Crumbs + Quandongs. It wasn’t a big piece of pork loin, but it was so rich that I couldn’t possibly have eaten more of it. I adored the combination of the macadamia milk and wattle crumbs, with the redness and flavour of the quandong.


Cape Grim Beef Tenderloin + Roasted Parsnip + Nettle Salsa. Again very well cooked and a lovely dish.


Aerated Chocolate + Fig Leaf Ice cream + Lemon Aspen. This was like eating one of those Aero bars and was good fun. Great ice cream.


Apricot and Black Cardamom Ice-cream + Cumquats + Saffron. This one didn’t do it for me – “interesting” is probably the word I would use. The cumquats, which I think were poached, were too intense for my liking, but my husband (the subject of the birthday message!) really liked them.


On my next visit (and I’m sure there will be one given the new location nice and close to the office), I would probably go heavy on the savoury and skip dessert.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar, 27 O’Connell St, Sydney, ph (02) 8214 0505

Bentley Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon