I was wondering where to go to dinner before our Sugar Hit and I thought we’d just make it easier on ourselves and just book the same place for dinner. I wanted to try Bel Mondo after a recommendation from my cousin who had been there for a work function and said that the ‘chocolate fondant with beetroot’ that she had was absolutely wonderful.
After I made a booking over the phone, the waiter asked if I had ever been there before, when I said no, he started to describe that it’s on Argyle St, I’ll see a set of stairs, go up the stairs and walk down a few meters and the restaurant will be on my right. ‘How hard could it be?’ I thought. “It’s ok, we both have iPhones, we’ll find it…”
Fast forward to Saturday-
After napping between two eating sessions, we got a taxi and headed towards The Rocks. The taxi dropped us off on Argyle St under the Highway, I looked around and thought ‘hmmm stairs stairs stairs…’ There were bouncers across the street, so we decided to go ask for directions, but before we got to them we found a set of stairs and I looked at my partner (TC) and said “these must be the stairs?”
It was exactly how the waiter described it- ‘up the stairs, down a few meters and on our right’. I would never think to go to The Rocks, go up some random stairs and find one of Sydney’s best kept secrets tucked away from all the hustle and bustle. I was mesmerized by the view when we were seated- Sydney Opera house at the front and a gorgeous view of the Harbour bridge to our right.
Getting ready to eat! Sorry about all the different lighting, still testing out my camera.
We were given complimentary sour dough bread and a pumpkin and fennel soup to start with. The soup was delicious and tasted very buttery. MMMMMMM
Pan fried scallops with ham hock, watermelon, avocado & shiso: mouthwatering, scallops go so well with the ham hock and watermelon!
Shellfish consomme with alaskan king crab, chilli, lime leaf, sweet corn & oyster mushroom: this was very nice and not too salty
Pan fried john dory with creamed leeks & grain mustard, rosemary jus: OMG this was so amazing! Words cannot describe the delicious taste but I did do my ‘put down the cutlery and do a little clap’ routine.
Roast beef tenderloin with baby carrots, broccolini, cauliflower puree and madeira jus: All restaurants have a ‘beef main’ which in my mind makes it harder to perfect and make it a cut above all the others. Bel Mondo has done this perfectly. YUM!
When we sat down, we were so excited that we ordered all three courses at once, so it was very surprisingly to find that all the surrounding tables who got their dessert menu after their mains and to have their dessert arrive before ours. We sat there and waited and waited. Everything had been perfect til then- the food, the service, the timing between courses. Other people that had their dessert looked happy. *sad face for me though* Luckily the dessert was worth the wait!
Souffle of the day- Raspberry souffle: this was so delicious and fluffy, truly perfect! Can’t remember the ice-cream flavour but it was very delicious too!
Vanilla creme brulee, seasonal fruits and mango sorbet: the texture was lovely, but all the vanilla bean speckles were all on the bottom, it wasn’t particularly vanillary. It was good but nothing that made it particularly special. Lucky we both didn’t order the same thing.
Just before leaving I went to sit on the funky seats in the bar area while TC was taking photos, when the Executive chef Andy Ball came over and offered to take a photo of the both of us. I sat there star struck that the Executive chef (he has worked around the world including at The Ritz in London, been on ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ and he was cute too) was taking our photo and as he handed back the camera I just had to compliment him on our amazing meal!
Here’s how the conversation happened in my head, although in reality I might have been speaking a million miles a minute like a crazed fan-
“I never usually order fish at restaurants but the John Dory sounded amazing! And it was soooooooo delicious!” I exclaimed. He said it was his favourite dish too, then I quickly added that TC had the beef and that I’ve had a eaten a lot of beef and that it was also very delicious. When he nodded thankfully, I said to him “no, I don’t think you understand, I’ve eaten a. lot. of. beef”.
Venue: Bel Mondo
Address: bel mondo is located on Gloucester walk, in the rocks. Access is via the Argyle steps on Argyle street or Cumberland street.
Gluten and vegan friendly!
Phone: (02) 92413700