Becasse is probably the restaurant where I’ve eaten out most over the last year or so. At one stage I joked with Chef that Inside Cuisine was going to turn into the Justin North website. So, when I first heard that Becasse was moving, I have to tell you, a nervous sweat appeared on my forehead. Now comes the sigh of relief as the smaller smarter Becasse at Westfield shows us its stuff. After taking the special direct escalator from Pitt Street Mall, the leafy Becasse entrance sets the scene. A long walkway of the four seasons reflects the inspiration that is to follow.
When booking, there’s the opportunity to really sit within the Becasse kitchen and upgrade to Becasse Chef’s Table. Any table is pretty special though, with the stunning upholstery benches and flowing curved tables.
This week Chef Justin North took some time to not only give me the special treat of sitting at the Becasse Chef’s Table, but also stepped through the care of sourcing, preparation and plating – that takes the new Becasse to an even higher level.
The kitchen itself says Justin North, has been designed to be less stressful. There’s a central large induction stove top – more like you’d expect to see at home. Watching Chef prepare the labour intensive dishes – using tools for plating like tweezers that we don’t necessarily associate with commercial kitchens – it’s easy to understand why the new Becasse caters for a smaller number. The good news is, the smaller number will allow Justin North and his team to create plates with more attention to detail.
Looking inward Chef’s passion and commitment to local produce continues, with an incredible more than 80% of produce from what he calls “the produce state” NSW. The bread is made by Becasse Bakery right next door (and is also available for purchase on Level 5 Westfield) and the bakery also supplies the rest of the Becasse family – Charlie & Co, Quarter Twenty One, Etch. While the white cloths have gone, the new design warms us with timber and bespoke glass and pottery plates – from a collaboration with Blue Mountains artists – that further reflect nature.
While all the dishes embody the passion for produce and all were incredible, the stand-out for me was the “beautiful beautiful” Forgotten Vegetables. The carefully selected vegetables are lightly smoked with cedar during baking. The use of cedar is a further introspection – as you may already know the mid north coast of NSW is cedar country. The finale of the dish is with delivery to the table – complete with a slice of smoking cedar. Intriguingly the flavour of the yabby tails whispered the smoke from just the wave on the plate alone. An original and inspirational dish! Thank you chef!
Becasse offers a seasonal three course a la carte or five course or nine course degustation and seats just 25 people. So bookings for dinner are a must!
Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Corner Pitt Street and Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
+61 2 9283 3440