The Sanderson

Howard Chen
2nd Jul 2023

Extravagant, ostentatious, and glitzy are some words I would use to describe the experience at The Sanderson by the Speakeasy Group. If you can find the entrance (just look for the rug) you'll find yourself transported back in time to La Belle Époque with fantastic finishings, marble countertops, and lavish velvet booths. Set inside the heritage listed Beneficial House, if you're looking for a venue serving up great vibes along with dinner and a show, look no further.

Upon getting seated you will be served a shot (you can choose alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and presented with a toast to start off the evening. The shot is sweet, citrusy, and earthy all in one. On the table you'll find a small menu for Oyster Service and Caviar Service in addition to the regular menu which encompasses Starters, Guéridon Service, Earth, Sea, and Land. As there were 4 of us, it was a pretty nice start to a birthday celebration. 

Here's what we ordered:


$29pp - siberian caviar crostoli

$14pp - éclair 'carbonara'

$19 - roasted bone marrow

Guéridon service:

$36 - cape grim beef tartare

$44 - fraser island spanner crab salad


$56 - black winter truffle risotto


$58 - dry aged half duck

$160 - grass fed sirloin on the bone, mbs 4


$16 - potato rosti

$16 - fried brussels

$22 - broccolini

The crostoli is fantastic. The taramasalata along with the caviar really accentuates the ocean flavour with a nice crunch. It's on the pricey side but I would order this again. The éclair 'carbonara' is very rich but a creative play with the pecorino custard and topped with a salty guanciale. Just a touch salty for me but I quite enjoyed this as well. The bone marrow is as good as bone marrow can be, you can take a whiskey luge right after so it's a fun little activity afterwards.

The guéridon service was a bit of a mixed bag. While it was very entertaining, the dishes themselves leave much to be desired. For the price you're paying it's a serving for 2, so keep that in mind. You can pick a spice level and we went with medium for both, and there was barely any heat. With the tartare, there were differences to a traditional tartare such as no mustard and an emulsified bagna cauda, but if you're going to stray from the traditional it should be better than the traditional. As for the spanner crab, the dollop of macadamia garlic cream overwhelms the crab in the salad, and the side of crackers aren't great. Unless you want a show I'd skip both.

The black winter truffle risotto is actually good as a mushroom risotto, but as a truffle risotto this really is an affront to truffles. The truffles used here unfortunately had little to no truffle flavour, and you're paying a premium for a lackluster ingredient.

Prior to the land dishes getting served, you are offered a knife of your choosing, again a very entertaining affair. The duck here is sensational. This might be the best duck dish I've had in Sydney so far. Dry aged, incredibly juicy and cooked to perfection, the fattiness of the duck contrasted with the crisp skin was a joy to eat. I'd order this over and over. The sirloin was simply OK. It was ordered medium rare and topped with nearly raw garlic and sprigs of rosemary, and there wasn't much of a crust. I'd opt for another steak next time.

With the accompaniments, the Brussels sprouts are a must order. This was a complete surprise and along with the duck the dishes of the night. The rosti and broccolini are fine but nothing awe inspiring.

All in all if you would like dinner and a show, the Sanderson serves it up in spades. As for the food, though there are a few hits and a few misses, it's a very welcome addition.