On Friday night my mum and I dined at Matt Moran’s Aria Restaurant, Circular Quay. We were on our way to see the Australian Ballet’s performance of Cinderella so opted for the three course pre-theatre menu ($89.00). We were seated at a table overlooking the Quay, providing us both with a stunning view of Sydney Harbour. I was really pleased as when i had made the reservation (online) I requested a window seat that overlooked the Harbour and thats exactly what I got! The waitstaff were very attentive right from the onset, without hovering or being invasive which was fantastic as mum and I had allocated plenty of time to enjoy the dining experience.
One of my favourite things (aside from all of the food) about the fine dining experience is the fantastic service and attention to detail. Once seated and served our drinks, we were presented with a complimentary appetiser of ceviche and freshly baked bread rolls. I know it seems shallow, but wow that bread was good!
For entrée, I had the Scallops which included plump, fresh scallops with calamari and clams floating in a fantastic green vinaigrette of celery, dulse and hazelnut oil. It was such a delicious combination of flavours and textures, both sweet and sour but perfectly balanced. My mum had the Salmon, pink, moist flakes of salmon accompanied by wedges of avocado and orange. It was such a fresh and vibrant dish with beautiful plating and balance.
Following this I had the Chicken for a main dish and wow, what an amazing flavour-packed plate! I would highly recommend this dish as it wont disappoint your taste buds. I was presented with a beautiful piece of perfectly cooked chicken breast, stuffed with sage, onion and brioche on a bead of truffled pearl barley and broccoli and accompanied with tarragon chipolatas. Everything about this dish was perfect to me so it’s lucky that it was such a big serve because I literally could have licked the plate! I’m not a huge fan of truffle as it can often be overused but in this instance it was a perfect balance of creamy rich flavours with the subtle crunch of broccoli. Mum chose the King Trout; a seared fillet with cauliflower, almonds, crab and radish which also looked and tasted divine. To share, we ordered the salad of green beans with quinoa and pear.
Because we were in a bit of a hurry to get to the ballet we were encouraged to opt for a slightly quicker dessert to prepare (so no souffle) but trust me, we were not disappointed. We both decided to go with the Chocolate which is honestly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever seen or eaten (and yes I did write seen because it was so yummy to look at I didn’t want to eat it at first..but i quickly changed my mind!). On a large round plate painted with dark chocolate was a slice of chocolate tart topped with caramelised hazelnuts. The vanilla choc-ice was presented in a log accompanied by two chocolate macarons. I could have eaten it all day long! mmmm just the thought of it makes me hungry again! So many smooth, rich, chocolatey textures with crunchy nuts and vanilla bean ice cream. And if that wasn’t enough, the chef sent us (and every other table!) petit fours which included a grape jelly, lime meringue tart, toffee brittle and chocolate truffle, so even if you don’t decide to order dessert, your sweet tooth will be amply addressed.
Overall, I would highly recommend a visit to Aria restaurant, Sydney as a treat. Fantastic food, exceptional service and a view that can not be beaten. Head to their website for more details or to make a reservation. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!