Warning: this post contains extremely bad photos.
For the second consecutive year, my office celebrated Christmas at The Belvedere Hotel in the CBD. Last year I didn’t bring my camera along (I try not to mix blogging with office stuff), and thus didn’t write a review, but this year there were a few people taking photos so I got the emergency compact out of my bag and snapped away.
Similarly to last year, we were presented with two options for entrées, mains, and desserts. The good thing is that this time they were more flexible as in they actually asked which of the options we would prefer (last year dishes were served in an alternated fashion, and it was up to us to swap with our table neighbours). Beverage choices were limited but enough to cater for most people: one sparkling, one white, one red, and a few beers. I had a few glasses of the thick and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon.
Canapés were served before dinner but they sat atop pumpernickel bread so I didn’t try them. I didn’t touch the bread rolls either. There were triangular slices of something that looked like butter but after eating a good-sized piece I realised it was margarine, although I haven’t consciously had it in years. That lack of flavour (it tastes like water!) was unmistakable.
Entrée options were vegetable terrine with rocket and salt and pepper squid with mango aioli. Luckily the terrine was gluten-free. It pretty much tasted like an eggless quiche. Not the summit of fine dining, but not too bad. My coworker Paul seemed to enjoy his squid.
Vegetable terrine with rocket
Choices for mains were sirloin with sweet potato sauté, tomato relish and herb jus and Atlantic salmon with coconut rice, bok choy and soy ginger dressing. The menu didn’t specify if the beef was grain- or grass-fed but I know they have grass-fed steaks in their regular menu. I had the steak last year and it was pretty good, so I had it again. It was past medium, but okay taste-wise and decently sized. I didn’t find the sweet potatoes particularly exciting. I think they’d have done better with caramelised baked sweet potatoes or even a mash.
Sirloin with sweet potato saute, tomato relish and herb jus
I heard mixed comments about the salmon.
Atlantic salmon with coconut rice, bok choy and soy ginger dressing
Desserts options were white chocolate mango cheesecake with hokey pokey ice cream and apple gallete. It was obvious they both contained gluten but I double-checked anyway and it turned out to be a good idea: the waitress asked the chef and they offered me watermelon and ice cream (cheat of the day) instead. Win!
White chocolate mango cheesecake with hokey pokey ice cream
Apple galette with berry coulis
Watermelon & ice cream
Petit fours last year included amazing dark chocolate truffles. Unfortunately, this time they had mini chocolate cupcakes, which reminded me of the Smurfs’ houses and were full of gluten.
Comparing with dinner last year, I would say food quality seems to have gone down a bit and service up. I think it’s a pretty good deal for the company, so my guess is that we’ll be back again next year.
The Belvedere Hotel
482 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9264 1688