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24
Sep 03
Wed

Aria

I hadn’t managed to make it to any of the Good Food Month events before tonight. The “Hats Off” program saw many restaurants around Sydney adopt a fixed price $120 showcase menu (not incl drinks). We elected to go to Aria, which was serving a 10-course degustation menu and hadn’t been booked out yet like some of the bigger players in town. Aria was dehatted this year to one hat, but the meal was still pretty decent. Aria sits facing the Opera House, directly opposite Quay, although its views aren’t anywhere near as good. Neither is the food or service, but it’d be hard to match last year’s restaurant of the year.

Five of us went, but at the entrance we bumped into a couple friends by coincidence and so we joined up to form a table of seven (and, I suspect, interrupted a date in progress… unlucky!!).

Unfortunately, the WA marron (Kev, I don’t think anything beats the ones in Ipoh though!) and Hiramasa kingfish (a fish that seems to be in vogue in the fine dining scene) which were advertised on the SMH site were absent from the menu. Highlights were the Yamba King Prawn Terrine, which I assume replaced the marron, panfried barramundi, pork with baked apple puree and an incredibly rich chocolate tart which guaranteed weight gain. There was some shredded crab with a Thai style salad which I thought was a really interesting flavour – a very distinct and strong Thai taste coming through. However, the Wagyu beef wasn’t a particularly good cut.

On a normal day, you’d be looking at paying $90 for a 3-course à la carte meal. At that price, you might want to try some of the other better and cheaper restaurants around. The newly opened est. and Marque look good.