The joy of Barangaroo House is apparent the moment you arrive. Before we even begin to discuss Bea Restaurant we must first commend this architectural masterpiece. Collins and Turner designed the landmark building and in our opinion it’s one of Sydney’s most intriguing monuments. The striking facade punctuates the skyline with three dark circular tiers and resting on the Barangaroo foreshore it harnesses incredible views. On the central floor you’ll find Bea, along with two bars; Smoke above and House below.
Matt Moran and the Solotel Hospitality Group opened the doors of Barangaroo House in 2017 and they haven’t looked back since.
Appointing executive chef Corey Campbell at Bea’s helm meant capitalising on Campbell’s ten years of culinary expertise. The young chef spent four years at Copenhagen’s Noma and six years as head chef at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. Say no more.
It is a blissfully clear day so deems the perfect conditions for lunch on the harbour but instead of opting to make the most of the views with an outside table we choose a private banquet inside. The dining space is stunning in rich tones and timbers. The battened ceiling and soft olive coloured banquets create a refined but relaxed atmosphere. Matt Moran has moved away from fine dining to what he describes as fun dining with a menu designed to share. With this in mind we order mainly from the starters.
Our waiter recommends the duck egg, probably not something we’d gravitate to naturally but it is sensational. Creamy yet zesty with contrasting textures and flavours -you know you’ve hit a winner when you’re literally scraping the plate for every last morsel.
The bread also helps sop up any lasting remnants and enamoured with the bread we enquire about the origins of this pleasing warm crusty sour dough. Expecting to hear it was made in house we are surprised to learn it is in fact sourced from Sonoma bakery and made with an ancient miche grain. Makes perfect sense, we are yet to find someone who doesn’t love Sonoma.
Next up is the prawn tartare. Holy moly rejoice the food gods- lightly cooked, the prawns are bathed in a heavenly macadamia milk and the quandong imparts a unique flavour. A little research reveals Aboriginals would eat quandong raw or perhaps dry and pit them to preserve the fruit. Throughout the menu we notice the addition of native Australian ingredients, obviously as tribute to the land here.
Corey sends us a lovely surprise from the kitchen -the marron gratin. We are told it’s a popular starter and no wonder- yet another standout. Topped with a light butter that’s peppered with cayenne and bush tomato it’s incredible – the light mustard foam is stunning! The addition of the bush tomato is another example of the native Australian elements, an important reminder to the history of Barangaroo.
Feeling indulgent our seafood feast continues with the dory along with a side of carrots and minted pea mash. Simply fantastic and we particularly love the pickled onion on the dory which really lifts the dish and adds a tart contrast to the creamy avocado.
Contemplating dessert we feel gluttonous so instead decide to migrate to the upstairs bar Smoke for a cleansing beverage to finish. The afternoon sun dips in the sky and the refreshing spritz rounds off what was one of our most memorable dining experiences and we truly can’t wait to return.
We love that Bea is both refined and relaxed so you can really get away with wearing something quite fabulous. The interiors are rich with earthy tones and lots of timber. Keep in mind when you choosing an outfit that after Bea you may end up exploring the area. Barangaroo is vibrant and lively -you can shop, people watch, have ice-cream by the water or, like us, hit a bar after you eat.
I decided to wear head to toe white with a relaxed tailored silhouette. Tonal dressing or block colour dressing like white on white, navy on navy or caramel on caramel, for example, is a way of looking effortlessly expensive. It really is a fail safe when you want to look put together but not too manufactured. In my mind one colour on the body is a timeless look and will always be chic. Accessorising with nude heels and a petite nude bag means there’s no competition and allows the white on white to steal the show!