Wednesday 27 June 2012

Aria Restaurant Review (Chef - Matt Moran)

For S' birthday in November we wanted to do something fun and indulge in going to a beautiful restaurant being the foodies we are. We decided to take a trip to Sydney and I immediately knew we had to visit Peter Gilmore's Quay, as I had been dying to try their infamous snow egg ever since I saw it on MasterChef... look how pretty!!! Alas you have to book months and months and months in advance to get into Quay so it was on to Plan B. Plan B was quite the good alternative though, being Matt Moran's Aria.

I didn't know a whole lot about Aria, apart from Matt Moran being the head chef, but that was enough for me! For starters, the restaurant has the obvious bonus of being in one of the best locations in Sydney (if you don't mind the Opera House and Harbour Bridge of course) have a look at the view from our table, magic!

The feel and atmosphere of the restaurant is terrific and I highly recommend paying a lunch time visit to Aria as it's a treat for both the eyes and the mouth. Forgive me if I don't remember all of the precise names of the dishes it's been a few months. 

The appetiser that was brought out first was a shot of Thai Sweet Potato Soup with a Coconut topping. First things first I had to get my head around the fact that I was going to "shot" some soup rather than some alcohol, and that the top looked strangely like cappuccino froth, but can I tell you with each little sip I was wanting more and more of it. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before, so delicious!

For entrees we had the scallops and pork belly. The scallops were cooked to perfection (and I'm not a scallop lover) they were so moist and delicate. The pork belly however was not the best I have had, but nonetheless still enjoyable, it just lacked that punch of flavour that I would normally expect from pork belly, however the meat was deliciously tender.

For main course we all settled on the steak (boring I know) but I was curious to try it, having dined at Gordon Ramsey's Maze Grill and wanted to see how they compared. Well my foodie friends, this steak was the best steak I have ever had in my life (big call I know!) From memory I think it was a grain fed Angus and it was delectable! This was the kind of melt in your mouth steak, hardly any chewing required. The jus it was served with also complimented it beautifully as did the brocollini with lemon juice and toasted macadamias.

After lunch and a glass of lovely Italian Riesling we were too full to have dessert (shattering I know) and we were about to leave when the lovely waitresses knew we were celebrating a birthday and brought us over this gorgeous little plate of chocolatey goodness. Oh my, I don't even know what they were or what was in them but they were bite-sized pieces of chocolatey heaven.

Check out the beautiful birthday girl with the plate of chocolatey fun!

Overall, Aria is a winner in my book in terms, of service, ambiance, atmosphere and of course the food. Make sure you book well in advance and ask for a table with a view, you won't regret it, it's a fabulous dining experience!

ARIA Restaurant Sydney • 1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000 • Ph: +61 2 9252 2555

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