Bianca: Every now and then I like to gussy up and get my fancy pants on. ‘Aria’ like ‘Quay’ was one that had alluded me till now. Joining me on my adventure was my pal Ivan (Ivanna – said naturally, in a thick Croatian accent). It was cold and windy this particular Friday night, so it was a welcome change walking into the warm and dimly lit room.
We were ushered to our table, where our coats and beverage orders were taken. The first thing I took in was the astounding view, we really do live in one of the best cities in the world. Just jaw dropping. The second – after the quick scan was how simply the dining room was decorated. I guess when you have the Sydney Harbour virtually in your restaurant you don’t need to waste any money on an interior designer. That’s not to say it isn’t an inviting space. With warm brown tones, sleek black chairs and the ever present white linen tablecloths, it was all in all a very sleek affair.
We were brought out an amuse bouche consisting of a wafer thin cracker, hommus and pomegranate seeds, a great way to get the palate revving. I couldn’t help but think the texture of the cracker was a little stale.
Ivanna and I both opted for a glass of red to go with our meals, Ivanna the ‘2012 Farr Rising Pinot Noir’ $22 and myself ‘2009 Davino Ceptura Rouge Merlot’ $17.
Always a fan of the carbohydrates, we were given the choice between a walnut slice or a sourdough roll, we both opted for the walnut slice which was served alongside a small pat of Pepe Saya salted cultured butter and seaweed butter. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat the entire pat of seaweed butter myself. Odd but incredibly addictive.
Now it took me over 20 minutes to decide what I was going to eat. I was a little overwhelmed by all the stunning options on offer. Then there was that whole two course/three course debacle. Ivanna bore witness to that eternal struggle.
I finally decided on the two courser an entrée of ‘Roast Chicken with Australian black truffle and potato’ and for desert the ‘Valrhona chocolate ganache with raspberries and warm chocolate doughnuts’. Two courses priced at $74. I picked the Roast Chicken from the ‘entrée’ course so it was obviously smaller than a main size. Size aside it was incredibly rich, with two small chicken ‘nuggets’ crispy chicken skin, velvety creamy mash and generous shavings of Truffle. To pad my meal out I got a side salad with radicchio, looking back the price of the salad was equivalent to bumping up to the three course at $89. Rookie mistake. As I’ve gotten older my sweet tooth has definitely reared its ugly head, no meal ends these days without something sweet. My dessert was a splendid mix of tastes, textures and colours. Truly a feast for the eyes and the mouth. My favourite on the plate was the rich spoonful of chocolate ganache my least being the dollop of sorbet but that’s really reaching, it was all great.
Ivanna also went with two courses. A main of ‘Ranger’s valley flank steak with slow roasted carrots, red mustard leaf and xo sauce’ and for desert ‘Strawberry crumble soufflé with rhubarb gelato’. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare and there was only positive comments about this dish. The soufflé was in a league of its own, I generally don’t stray from chocolate when I opt for dessert but was glad I had a few mouthfuls of that soufflé, crispy on top and gooey on the inside – especially when you plop the ice-cream on top.
By this point we were well and truly content, happily sitting back and having a chat, we were then brought some petit fours on a wooden plank. I mean who doesn’t like little bite sized treats? I wish I could say what each was but I can certainly tell you…they were delicious.
Matt Moran I take my invisible hat off to you, it was an immensely enjoyable dining experience. I’d like to come back at sunset in summer with a table right by the window.