Sixty years at the venerable Beppi’s
It is quite something to dine at a restaurant which has been going strong for 60 years. Here we are at Beppi’s, with a cosy private room, a charming italian waiter and a close up view of the “birthday years” wall of Penfolds Grange. It is a venerable institution, yet I’ve not been here before, and I’m keen to see how it has aged.
We are presented with a complimentary bottle of prosecco to enjoy with bruschetta, which gets us off to a good start. We have a split vote on the best entree to order – half of us choose the perfect carpaccio, and the other half choose the seafood tasters. I want both of course, but pick seafood for tonight, and it goes perfectly with the Tasmanian South riesling. The oyster with white balsamic granita zings, while the simple scallop with pea puree has lovely contracting textures. The prawn with avocado, fennel & lemon is a fresh bite, and the rich rotolo of smoked salmon & lime mascarpone is the creamy icing on the cake.
Simple produce, cooked beautifully
There are a lot of rich dishes on Beppi’s menu, but also deceptively simple dishes of great produce cooked simply – how very modern! I order grilled toothfish with artichoke and pickled capsicums, which is stunningly good. I am also lucky enough to get a tiny taster of the braised octopus, perfectly cooked in tomato and chilli, and it’s a winter warmer that I would like to repeat. The least favourite dish at our table is the angel hair pasta with prawns, crab and scallop meat. It sounds delicious but it comes out soupy and soggy, with sauce overkill, and pasta overcooked unfortunately.
Bring on the desserts
The complimentary bottle of moscato is very much appreciated to go with our desserts. I can’t go past a classic affogato and this one does not disappoint in any way, however the banana souffle special was the crowd favourite. And on top of all that, we also receive a complementary dessert to share. The chocolate ball stuffed with chocolate mousse and berry jelly was delicious and very very modern.
So while Beppi’s pastas still have a mixed reputation, we devoured every last morsel of the delicious non-pasta dishes. In addition, there is something beautiful about sitting in these lovely sandstone rooms with quietly flawless service provision and so much palpable history. Are you a Beppi’s stalwart or a Beppi’s virgin – what do you think of their food?
Best bits: classic beef carpaccio, patagonian toothfish, braised octopus, the history
Worst bits: angel hair pasta
Where am I?
Beppi’s, 21 Yurong St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia