Dîner en Blanc (Sydney): Seas of White

I watched in awe as 3000 people, decked out in their finest whites descend upon the beaches of Bondi. This was Le Diner en Blanc, the worldwide epicurean phenomenon that had now taken to the shores of Sydney.

Some background history, Le Diner en Blanc was launched by François Pasquier and his close friends 25 years ago. With its humble backgrounds being just a simple dinner party to reconnect with friends, guests were told to dress in white so as to be recognizable to one another. And thus was born the concept of Dîner en Blanc.

With its prestigious presence now made international, the dinners have been held in many large cities throughout the world and for the second time, in Sydney. I was fortunate to be able to attend the event as a guest (had no idea that this event was by-invite only) since my friend was invited to the party. Joining a group of complete strangers as we awaited our buses to bring us to our mystery destination was a bit of a social challenge for me; but the buzzing of electricity in the air managed to set the mood right for a bit of tongue-in-cheek exchange.

Immaculate. Everyone looked the part. Perhaps it was the pristine nature of the color white that elevates the entire stature of the event. Black tie event? Bah... white cuts it even better I say.

Our mystery location was revealed as we clambered on the buses. Bondi Beach. Definitely nailed it with an iconic destination in Sydney. Silently, I cursed and swore under my breathe with the lurking notion of heels in sand. (I subsequently ditched my newly bought suede heels in the end and went bare-footed through the night)

Very swiftly, tables were set up, white stemware and plates were conjured onto flowy table cloths. Lanterns, delicate vases of white flowers marked the tables of the more impeccable "designers". Drinks and food packages prepared by kitchen food company were collected from the tents out back. Braving the cold, we drank and made merry through chattering teeth. I kid you not. It was a freezing cold day despite the skimpy outfits you see many of us don.

Personally, I'm not a fan of cold food. But with the pre-packed lunch boxes, there isn't much of an option especially faced with the challenge of feeding thousands.

We opted for the White Spring Menu with starters of Sonoma Sourdough. I nearly chipped a tooth working through the bread roll. Moving on, I loved the Classic Prawn Cocktail, with romaine lettuce hearts and heirloom tomatoes; this savoury little jar of perfectly cooked prawns bathed in a delicious creamy dressing was heaven. My growling tummy heaved a sigh of relief. The same could not be said for the Potted Ham Hock; this was left untouched by many around the mainly because of the strange combination of pea custard and the gelatinous pork that left a slightly awkward presence on the palate. Not too charming for the cold weather. Following that, we dived into the Chermoula a Sous vide chicken, served with spiced pearl cous cous on the side, the chicken was surprisingly tender and juicy, the ruby red hues of pomegranate speckled over the chicken adding a wonderful color contrast to the table settings. I also loved the Pickled Spring Veg Parcels that proved to be useful snacks amidst all the festive drinking.

Desserts came in the form of White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Champagne Strawberries as well as an impeccable cheese board with all the trimmings. The former was a simple and classic pairing that went down well with many. However, the grittiness of the panna cotta suggested a mild technical error during preparation, my judgement slightly swayed by the influence of alcohol at this stage. I pressed on, picking at the glazed cippoline onions on the cheese platter. These were definitely the star of the show, rich and vivacious; a perfect way to end our culinary journey for the night.

And then, we party some more.

The next morning, I woke up with a killer headache. The effects of the after-party crashing down on my poor body. Diner en blanc... a once in a lifetime experience; would I do it again? Probably not.


  1. It would of been nice to see this in person myself. I just love the idea of having an event on Sydney's best beaches :D

    1. yeh. you should have seen the looks on people's faces as they observe us convene on the beach. all 3000 of us. it's MADNESS.



Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

Instagram Updates