By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Bellevue, in Sydney’s east, has welcomed a new chef and menu, in an effort to appeal to a broader base.

 Bellevue, owned by WDS Hotels, has welcomed Rob Te Whaiti as its new head chef. Te Whaiti’s CV is impressive, beginning his career at two-hatted restaurant Assiette in Sydney, before relocating to London and working for such esteemed restaurants as The York & Albany and The Arts Club. Returning to Sydney in 2014, Te Whaiti worked under Colin Fassnidge at Four In Hand, and most recently at 360 Bar and Dining in Sydney Tower.

In 2016, Bellevue Dining, the hotel’s restaurant was awarded a Hat by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide. Te Whaiti’s menu, described as “modern, highly seasonal with a subtle French influence” launched yesterday, and is designed to add be approachable while still having elements of refinement.

“The skills and technique Rob uses are still reflective of the standard you would expect within a hatted restaurant, but the presentation, flavours, and variety he brings with his new menu are much more relaxed, neighbourly, and accessible to ensure customers can return frequently,” explained Steven Speed, director of WDS Hotels.

The change in menu direction to a more casual offering was made, in part, as a response to how patrons reacted to the Bellevue Dining receiving a hat.

“We’ve seen additional customers coming in because we were awarded a hat, that we otherwise would not have seen, however it has also tagged us to a certain degree as a special occasion restaurant, and a bit too serious, which the new menu aims to change,” stated Speed.

Bellevue’s new Autumn menu includes snacks such as ham hock croquettes and entrees confit duck terrine, tea soaked raisins, hazelnuts, and piccalilli. Larger plates include slow-cooked lamb shoulder, mint & pea broth, rainbow chard; and suckling pig, Cloudy Bay clams, and parsnip.

Te Whaiti is very conscious about the Bellevue’s carbon footprint, and is also beign strategic about his menus, so as to reduce wastage.

“The first things that I am doing is only accepting produce and goods from Australia, and sometimes New Zealand. We have some of the world’s greatest ingredients at our door step, so why not use them?

“In terms of wastage we try to come up with ways to use all parts of the animal or vegetable. For example beetroots – we use the leaves that most people throw away. We tempura them and serve as a garnish. The suckling pig we get in whole and attempt to use in its entirety throughout different dishes.”

Te Whaiti will also be making his mark on the bar menu in the coming weeks, while ensuring that the pub classics remain available.

The Shout Team

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