Monday, March 23, 2009


H's birthday just passed a few weeks ago and we had our special dinner for 2 at Bilson's, Radisson Hotel. It was a beautiful evening where we feasted (eyes and taste buds) on a beautifully prepared degustation menu complemented by an equally gorgeous selection of wines. The selected wines complemented each dish like a match made in heaven. We were also very taken in by the passionate and knowledgeable sommelier, Russel.

A glass of champagne each to start the night! They were gorgeously light and bubbly. 

Bread was warm sourdough slice with traditional french butter. The sourdough was beautifully soft and light.

When the friendly and professional waitstaff served us the amuse bouche our eyes lit up with delight. It was a slice of smoked wagyu beef topped with lightly pan-fried shallots and mayonnaise. The wagyu just melted on my tongue with a slight smoky aftertaste. It was to die for. This dish was also the first of many beautifully presented, yummy, food.

First course was cannelloni of tasmanian ocean trout, celeriac and spanner crab remoulade. I'm not a big fan of bitter-ish food but the celeriac wasn't very bitter as it was mixed in with the crab remoulade and rolled like a sushi roll with ocean trout. Also on the plat e was a teaspoon full of pureed avocado and crisp bread. These were yummy on its own but really brought out the flavours of the tasmanian ocean trout / crab roll.

Petite salade of braised oxtail and rock oyster accompanied with champagne jelly. I'll start with the oyster half of this dish. I am not a fan of oysters and will try to get out of eating any if I can but this time I just had to try it. It came with champagne jelly(!) that still tasted bubbly. The oyster was delicious. This was the smoothest and creamiest oyster I've ever had and accompanied with champagne jelly; just delicious! The braised oxtail was even yummier. One bite and the flavours just burst forth. I love the smell and taste of a heady beef bourguignon and this tiny slices just packed that kinda flavours.

Boudin of red mullet, squid ink jelly and bouillabaisse sauce. I just love the bouillabaisse sauce. This had been simmered down to a thick sauce so flavourful I can't find words to describe it. It is also a good accompaniment to the creaminess of red mullet and squid ink jelly. 

I just love the onions in this dish of pan roasted hiramasa kingfish with romesco sauce and textures of onion. The onion on the right side of the plate was an air dried (I think) slice of onion. I don't know exactly how they made this but the onion was just full of natural sweetness. The other onion on the left side of this dish was my favourite. It was perfectly roasted, sweet and slightly crunchy. The fish was beautifully cooked too but I just can't stop thinking of the onions.

The start of 2 meat dishes with the first being roasted partridge "en salmis", with smoked pain perdu and foie gras. I've never eaten partridge before and this dish did not disappoint. The partridge was tender, juicy and tasty! The best however, was the pain perdu or french toast with a layer of fois gras. Imagine biting into rich fois gras that melts into a warm and inviting french toast. Just writing this is making my mouth water and my taste buds craving for more. Digressing from the topic at hand, I just have to state that Bilsons also do a la carte dinner so one can actually go an enjoy this dish by itself ($50 for mains) without forking out $165 for the degustation.

Dry aged black angus sirloin "Facon" bourguignon. I love a good steak and this is the best. The meat was cooked with minimal seasoning to let the natural flavours shine through. The crouton-like-squares are actually bone marrow! So yummy with the bourguignon sauce.   

Petit fromage affine - Goat cheese with black truffles (Tibetan Tuber Melanicum) and.. I can't remember what the sauce was called. I didn't like this dish as I felt the goat cheese was too pungent in taste and smell although H loved it and finish off both mine and his. The truffles were good though so I had most of it before handing my plate over to H to finish off the cheese. hehe

Dessert time! They have the best desserts here. This dish is cherries and fresh almond, amaretto cream and frozen milk. Superb quality ingredients make for the best tasting dessert. Everything tasted good good good!

My all-time favourite is this Assiette of dark bitter chocolate. It was a combination of chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate mousse, crumbly chocolate cookie, dark chocolate, chocolate brownie  and a triangle of chocolate... I know there's a word for what it's called but my brain just don't want to give it to me. Sorry!

We ended the night with petits fours. We started from the right with the pistachio macaroons. These were gorgeously yummy. My memory is playing up again and I can't remember what the next petit fours was called or made up of other than there were strawberries in them and that they were spongy. The final 'sweet' for the night was creamy white chocolate encasing a mousse like orange flavoured chocolate. Delicious!

I cannot stop raving about Bilsons to anyone who will listen and I truly believe that they justly deserve the 3 hats they were awarded with.

Bilson's Restaurant
Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney
27 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

(02) 8214 0496

Lunch: Friday : 12 pm - 2.30 pm
Dinner:  Tues - Sat : 6 pm - 10 pm


NQN said...

Great choice for a special night! I adored my meal there and service was exemplary (pre blog unfortunately :( ). The onion looks amazing and I'm curious as to the left most petit four. It looks like a little cup!

foodie-central said...

Hi NQN - Agreed. They are awesome! The petit four, yes, was in the shape of one of those round incense candle made of creamy white chocolate for the bottom layer and orange flavoured chocolate on the top and filled with mousse like orange flavoured chocolate.