Visiting another Matt Moran’s restaurant in Sydney, BEA occupies the second floor of Barangaroo of the new trendy precinct.
Barangaroo House is the impressive looking three tier building on Barangaroo’s waterfront opened mid December 2017 by chef Matt Moran and the Solotel group. The building’s house bar is located on the ground floor in the wrap around outdoor space. On the first floor is Bea the 180 seater restaurant while the second floor houses Smoke, a bar with a neat snack menu.
Wood-fired seasonal Australian produce
At the heart of Bea’s kitchen sits the wood-fired grill, where Executive Chef Tom Haynes works his magic. You won’t find any fussy garnishes or tweezer techniques here, it’s all about beautiful Australian produce from nearby land and sea and treating it simply and respectfully, guided by the best of each season.
The bread and butter are not complimentary, and you can see why. The crusty bun is teddy bear soft inside. The butter is hand churned and flavoured with turmeric and sea salt.
Sydney rock oyster
Sydney rocks grow off Australia’s eastern coastline. Though they’re available here year-round, oysters are in fact seasonal. Sydney rock oysters tend to peak between August and March. Fresh shucked oysters, a bit small for the winter months when they should have peaked but still packed the flavours.
A dozen oysters yields around 636 milligrams of sodium, which is more than one quarter of the maximum recommended daily requirement. So go easy (or don’t).
Raw kingfish, finger lime
The Japanese have given us sashimi, the Italians crudo and the Spanish esqueixada. Then there are dishes that are neither raw nor cooked such as Peruvian ceviche, Nordic gravlax or Fijian kokoda — all good options for those not ready for raw fish.
This all-Australian dish uses Eyre Peninsula kingfish and Australian finger lime. Fat cuts of fish with the zest from the lime, it’s a classic combo. The red bits are not fish roe, even though a few ikura were hidden there to provide the brine and umami.
Artichoke, fennel, dill, anchovies
It has two of my favourite vegetables – fennel and artichoke. The salad used grilled artichoke hearts with stripped fennels, and simply dressed with lemon oil. The anchovies provided the salt and umami.
Charred tiger prawns, lemon, dill
My guests finished the prawns while I was in the washroom – that’s a testimony of how good they were! It was simply halved and grilled with salt and finally finished with lime.
Eye fillet, grass fed 200g
I ordered the tender eye fillet of Rangers Valley beef. It’s served sliced in half horizontally and it is rolled in a powder of native herbs and served with pickled radish. It is sublimely tender, although eye fillet is not my usual choice. I am watching my weight.
The sides of market veggies were mainly boiled snap peas and charred kale, dressed with EVOL. The chips with aioli was delicious.
We ordered three more mains. The Scotch fillet, grain fed 300g is similar to my eye fillet, but a different, fattier cut of meat. The Berkshire pork cutlet, Brussels sprout salad was very well-received, but the best was Butterflied sea bream, tomato, oregano. This is the dish I would try when I come back again.
There are many moving parts here and not all of them are working in sync. Service runs hot and cold. And the servers were breaking things around us as the layout of the place is quite tight. Servings vary wildly in size and value, some small plates being better thought of as saucers. And charging for bread is atrocious.
BEA Restaurant @ Barangaroo House
Level 1, 35 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW, 2000
Tel : 02 8587 5400
Date Visited : Aug 2019