This is a fine dining restaurant opened by the widely-acclaimed Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan over-looking the harbour in Sydney’s landmark circular quay. I had pretty high expectations just from the location and the menu and looked forward to my dinner with friends.
First impressions, the restaurant was warmly-lit and tables were comfortably set apart for the surprisingly small area. It wasn’t a crowded night and the soft music and whisperings of the diners made it a comforting place from the cold Sydney night outside.
Aria offers a tasting menu for $160 (food only) (note: $176 on a Sunday). But we decided on a 3-course a-la carte dinner instead.
My choices for the night included,
Entree: Peking duck consommé with duck dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms - ($39)
Absolutely tasty and well-balanced consomme. The duck dumplings were good-sized and there was a hint of the peking duck in the consomme. Abalone was thinly sliced and mushrooms were a good complement to the dish.
Next, the main: char grilled O’Connor sirloin with confit carrot, potato rosti, star anise and onion sprouts - ($62)
The beef was ordered to Medium and was cooked really well – tender, juicy and slightly pink. The accompaniments to the beef was cooked to perfection as well – especially the carrot, which was soft and sweet.
We ordered a side of Truffle Potato Mash to share - ($15)
Buttery and creamy, this was a mash that I’ll be happy to eat for a meal.
Lastly, dessert was the: Valrhona Chocolate with Hazelnut, Mousse and Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream - ($26)
Divinely rich and complemented well with crunchy hazelnuts, this was a satisfying sweet end to the meal. I loved the Earl Grey Tea ice cream as it helped to take the richness of the chocolate and was not too strong.
We also received complimentary petit fours to end the night – black-forrest, honeycomb tuile and chocolate truffle.
Overall, a satisfyingly tasty meal with great views of the harbour and a perfect ambience on the night. Pricey, but worth it for the quality and service.