‘Whisky Lover’s Dream’: Behind the Scenes of the Benriach x Woodcut Menu Launch in Sydney
If there are two things I know my way around, it’s steak and whisky. Alright, you could throw some cars in there too, but when I found out Benriach Distillery and Woodcut restaurant in Sydney were coming together for a blockbuster celebration to align with World Whisky Day on May 20th, I just had to check it out.
The article below is a little behind-the-scenes look at the first media tasting. I don’t have to tell you that this collaboration is going to be good because combining two of the biggest names in their respective industries will tell you that. However, I’ll tell you exactly why this combination is a whisky (or steak) lover’s dream. And of course, I’ll be going back for seconds, maybe thirds until May 22nd.
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Benriach x Woodcut Restaurant
Where: Crown Sydney, Level 1/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000
When: May 1-22
Price: Cocktails from $25, entrees from $18, mains from $38, steak $190.
As mentioned in our whisky guide, I’ve been exploring the depths of smoky and peated whiskies lately, highlighting some of my favourites in our article right here. And even though I am (and always will be) more of a sherry fan, there’s something sophisticated about smoky whisky that’s been capturing my attention. If you’re like me and you’re looking to advance your palate into the smoky and peaty sphere, this collaboration with Benriach and Woodcut is a great place to start. If you’re already a smoke head, you’ll find exactly what you’re after.
An a la carte menu has been crafted to bring these smoke flavours to life, Woodcut Chef and Owner, Ross Lusted, is leading the way in the kitchen. He’s taking advantage of Benriach’s ‘Smoke Season’ (quite a rare dram I’m told) that’s used in a range of cocktails, entrees, seafood, and steak for this special menu. There’s even whisky used in the dessert, but it’s not the smoky variety.
“Scotch and steak pair beautifully together because the smoky notes of the scotch whisky mimic the flavour of the grill. Benriach’s Smoke Season Single Malt Scotch Whisky in particular is both intensely smoked and exquisitely sweet, making it the perfect ingredient to elevate a whisky-inspired culinary experience.”
Highlights include Benriach Smoke Season cured salmon (with salmon roe, cultured cream, sprouted grain cracker, and whisky gel), but you can’t leave without trying the Scotch fillet dish.
The highlight of the menu, it consists of a wood-grilled 400-gram Rangers Valley Scotch fillet that’s brushed with Benriach Smoke Season Scotch Whisky, grilled over ironbark embers, and then paired with whipped bone marrow, horseradish, and whisky cream. It’s one of the best dishes I’ve had in a restaurant this year, bar none.
Finally, we can’t forget about the cocktails. Benriach Smoke House Penicillin is something that I can’t stop thinking about, it’s a must-try for smokey whisky fans, and combines Benriach Original Ten, Benriach Smoke Season, lemon, honey, and ginger for a serious firecracker of a cocktail. Finally, if smoke isn’t quite your thing, the Benriach Yuzu Highball with Benriach Original Ten, yuzu soda, pandan leaf is sure to be a crowd favourite.
For desserts, I couldn’t go past the burnt butter madeleines, whisky, and orange curd. However, the walnut crêpes, whisky-softened prunes, milk ice cream, and whisky caramel are just as delicious.
The Benriach x Woodcut Restaurant menu is available right now until May 22nd. Bookings can be made via the link below.
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