Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bilson's Restaurant

One day, Robin said to me, "Book this day out, we're going out for dinner" and wouldn't tell me where we were going. He dropped a hint and said "Surry Hills". On the actual day, when we were driving past Surry Hills, he didn't stop. So I asked "didn't you say we're going to Surry Hills?" he answered "I didn't say we're GOING TO Surry Hills, I said Surry Hills and we did PASS BY Surry Hills". I gave him a very dirty look because I had been flipping through the Entertainment book and checking out all the Surry Hills restaurant all week. Anyway, I knew it's going to be somewhere really nice because he specifically told me to wear nice, no t-shirt and jeans. Then, we arrived at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and saw the Bilson's sign. Straight away there's this silly grin on my face that probably didn't go away until we left :) It's a 3 hatted restaurant!! A really nice surprise dinner indeed! After we sat down, he told me that he already decided what we were going to have and ordered the Fine Bouche - 10 course degustation. So I didn't really get to 'analyse' the menu before it was taken away by the waiter. Not long after that some bread and butter were served, followed by our amuse bouche. 
Veal sweetbread with parsley with mango chutney. This was my first time having sweetbread (the first time I heard of sweetbread was actually not long ago on Masterchef). This definitely made a very good first impression of sweetbread for me.
Freshwater Crayfish and Lobster Bavaroise, Green Pea a la Françaisé - From front to back of the photo, it's lobster bavaroise, prawn with jelly consommé, tart with peas and the streak of peas purée at the side. The lobster bavaroise is very rich, like a pate but softer and creamier, simply awesome! Here's the same dish again from the other end.
Tartar of Black Angus and Cuttlefish, Ink Mayonnaise and Mustard Ice Cream. For some reason I actually quite like mustard. English mustard, dijonaise mustard, even McD mustard sauce (my favourite sauce to go with the chips). I love ice-cream too!! So imagine mustard ice-cream :D It's 1 of those things that when heard, it's like "that's so weird!!" but once ate, it's "how come nobody thought about this earlier?!?"
Roasted Scallops, Petit Salé of Puy Lentils and Foie Gras Vinaigrette. As expected scallop was perfect. Sweet, fresh, nicely done. However, to me that's not the most impressive part of the dish. It was the bacon!! The bacon was like paper thin, it was so so so so so crispy!! 

Hiramasa Kingfish with Braised Octopus, Cauliflower and Black Olives. Fish fillet with crispy skin! :) There was also a small piece of roasted cuttlefish at the side. Reminds me of those roasted cuttlefish snacks that I used to eat so much in Malaysia. 
Roasted Partridge with Beetroot Braised Red Cabbage, Glazed Carrots and Rocket Pistou. O.k. I have a confession to make. I made the deadliest food blogger mistake. *YW takes a deep breath* I forgot to take photo before I took my first bite. There you go! I said it! Don't hit me!! That's why I had to crop the photo like this, so that it doesn't show the 'disturbed' gravy on the plate and the other half eaten piece of meat :p 
Angus Beef Tenderloin ‘Façon Niçoise’ that is beef tenderloin with spanish onion purée and potato. Look how pink that beef was! This is how exactly how a steak should be done! 
Palate cleanser time! Basil ice cream with carrot n cardamom. Another funny flavour ice-cream heehe..:) However, different from the mustard ice-cream which was a bit 'heavier' to go with the beef, this was very light and refreshing with the taste of the fresh herb. 

Dessert time! Ta-da!! On the menu, it's caled Eve’s Platter. Lucky for the 'note' application on iphone that Robin had installed and pushing the limit of my short term memory trying to remember every word the waiter said, this is what I managed to jot down. From right to left, apple tart, apple parfait, ice cream with apple pieces, poached baby apple with balsemic reduction and ginger bread with mascarpone. Everything on this plate is miniscule and so cute!! Both Robin and I agreed that the best part was the apple parfait (second from right in the pic that looked like an apple with a black stem). It was like a apple flavoured ice ball with some sort of custard inside. 
Eve's platter was a light dessert. This Autour Du Chocolat on the other hand was the rich and heavy 1!  Again, couldn't tell much from the menu, so had to rely on my goldfish memory to quickly write down everything after the waiter explained the dish. Clockwise from the top, chocolate parfait, chocolate ice cream with chocolate crumbs, white chocolate ice-cream with chocolate brittle, dark chocolate cube with gold leaves. The dark chocolate cube was interesting. It was like a wobbly jelly, but very bitter (in the good dark chocolate way). Not something anyone should put the whole thing in the mouth even though it was just a little piece. 
Petits Fours - rose meringue, pistachio cake with strawberry. I preferred the rose merigue over the pistachio cake. I thought the strawberry that's wedged inside the cake was a bit sour. 

Overall, it was an AWESOME dinner!! The food was very impressive. 1 thing that maybe still have room for improvement was the staff. Not that they did anything bad, it's just some of them still felt a bit inexperience with handling the cutlery. Also, there was 1 waiter that gave the impression that he was impatient when he was explaining the dishes to us. Either he's rushing to somewhere else, or he just memorised the descriptions and tried to say it all out in 1 breath. There was 1 thing that I was very happy about though was that they were 'bloggers friendly'. The floor manager actually asked if I was a blogger and we exchanged business cards :)

Bilson's Restaurant
27 O'Connell St
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 8214 0496 

It was a little dark, but not a big problem, just need higher ISO. 


  1. looks so amazing. i must try one day :-)

  2. Gorgeous plating. A shame you didn't feel the service was up to scratch

  3. Hi Simon, yes, definitely give it a try :) It was really amazing!

    Hi Helen, yeah, they plated the food really nicely! In terms of service, it's not that the service was bad, in fact the service was definitely better than many other restaurants, it's just that it could be better since it's a 3 hat restaurant.

  4. yeah, it was amazing for sure !! :D