THE BELLEVUE DOES DINING, AND DOES IT VERY WELL
I really like Paddington. The terraces and old world vibe appeal to my sensibilities, and an evening there is something I always look forward to. The Bellevue has been standing in Paddo since 1880, and recently received a refit and revamped menu in both the restaurant and the pub. We came in with great anticipation on a cool Thursday night.
Tucked away on the intersection of Taylor and Hargrave Streets, in the heart of Paddington, The Bellevue is a hidden treasure offering a great restaurant, classic pub vibes, and private function rooms. It was filled to capacity when our group of four arrived at 7.00pm for dinner, due to a $1 oyster special in the bar, and we saw plenty more specials throughout the week. Making our way through the throng of patrons, we entered the restaurant at the rear of the ground floor where we admired the redesigned room featuring complementary dark and light earth-tones, a skylight, hanging globes, an open view kitchen, a wall of hanging cutting boards, and an old favourite of mine: a roll of butcher paper for displaying the specials.
We were greeted by Emily the restaurant manager, who filled us in on the recent changes at The Bellevue and recommended the best dishes for us to try. We started with some fresh Iggy’s bread, local burrata with oxheart tomatoes and vierge dressing, house smoked Ora king salmon with pickled vegetables and crème fraiche, charred asparagus with truffle vinaigrette and macadamia, and anchovies in olive oil with grilled sourdough. As Head Chef Rob explained, the focus is on Australian produce – like the burrata from Victoria and the salmon from Tasmania – and offering their own spin on on-trend dishes, with a touch of French cuisine.
The grilled flavour of the asparagus really stood out, while the tenderness and flavouring of the salmon and the softness of the burrata made for a wonderful opener to the meal.
Again, taking the lead from Emily, we selected for our mains: the market fish (monkfish on the day of our visit) with clams and peas à la Françoise, braised beef cheek with onion rings and soubise onion purée, crumbed lamb cutlets with house smoked mash and spring onions, 270+ days aged grain-fed bavette (flank) steak with house smoked herb and garlic butter, and steamed seasonal greens to balance out the carbs and proteins. Between the dish presentation, the freshness of the elements, the combination of flavours, and the kitchen craftmanship, we were really blown away by all of the dishes. If I had to pick out the top two, I’d recommend the flank steak (medium-rare) and the monkfish (pictured); both expressed their flavours most powerfully.
Another impressive aspect of The Bellevue’s revamped menu is its focus – it’s a one-pager – which shows a strong dedication to each dish.
The dessert menu follows the same format, with three offerings. We started with an Espress-XO martini of Patron XO Café, Licor 43 vanilla liqueur, and fresh espresso, which put me in the mood for the treats to come: a coffee brûlée, made using 1880 Bellevue blend espresso with vanilla shortbread; the white chocolate parfait with smoked macadamia and blackberries; and the tropical Eton mess, made with mango sorbet and coconut chantilly. Once again, the presentation of the desserts was at its artistic best, and the combination of the coffee, chocolate, crème liqueur, and fruit left us all totally satisfied.
The Bellevue’s restaurant is a winner in my book. If you enjoy an evening out in Paddo and are looking for high quality, well prepared food creations, The Bellevue is doing dining, and they’re doing it very well indeed.
Address 159 Hargrave Street, Paddington
Phone 9363 2293
Open 7 days, 11.30am until late
Prices $30 mains, $20 starters
Cards Accepted Yes