The problem with dining inside the Opera House is that you don’t get to see it. It’s a bit like having your eyes shut whilst dining out with a supermodel. Aria fixes the dilemma with superstar views of the bridge and the famous sails, which will be shining in all its ‘Vivid’ glory for the next few weeks.
There aren’t many restaurants which have been successfully running for more than 15 years and Aria’s latest move reinvents the dining storyline following months of research by Matt Moran and head chef Ben Turner bringing to life the close relationships created with their farmers and producers. Influenced by the artisans of the past, techniques such as smoking, drying and brining are their new signatures.
Indecisive foodies rejoice! The menu’s simpler approach with up to four courses in the evening and a cracker pre-theatre menu has our vote. Sommelier Matt Dune raises the bar with imaginative wines such as NV Jean Lallement Grand Cru which pairs beautifully with King Salmon topped off with a snowfall of horseradish and brook trout caviar. A smear of dijon mustard is curled around cured, smoked wagyu beef and pickled cucumber. Mains of Murray cod, mascarpone and verjus with a fascinator of fennel. The CMPO (Chief of Mashed Potato) title definitively goes to Aria– it’s the kind you would swim from Manly for.
It’s hard to resist strawberry crumble soufflé with rhubarb crumble topped with a crown of gold leaf and chocolate wafers but the cheese platter may tempt you into sharing a Top Note aged semillon rose. Just make sure you save room for the petit fours served on a tree trunk platter. Choose your jellies wisely.
The menu may have changed and the season will depart their own influence but one thing will always be a constant and that’s the breathtaking views which provide the ultimate Sydney food and wine matching experience.
1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay, Sydney 2000