For fans of Masterchef Australia, Chef Matt Moran and ARIA Restaurant should be no stranger to you. Overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Sydney’s gorgeous harbour, ARIA is one of the few restaurants that matches a beautiful view with spectacular cuisine.
The amuse bouche did not leave much of an impression unfortunately. It felt more like an after-thought.
Six Freshly Shucked Pacific oysters with citrus pearls, pink grapefruit and cucumber
The oysters were the clear winner of the meal; they were fresh, succulent and well, were complemented so well by the equally fresh tasting combination of grapefruit and cucumber in a slightly citrusy dressing.
I could have easily gone through another dozen of these – if not of the health implications.
Cured New Zealand salmon with kombu and Earl Grey tea, yuzu tapioca and avocado puree
The cured salmon came highly, and I mean highly recommended by the wait staff.
“You have, have to try it,” he said.
With such a recommendation, it would not be hard to understand that I well slightly underwhelmed by the dish. The curing of the salmon was perfect; there was slight hint of Earl Grey tea but it just did not have that ‘WOW’ factor, if you get me. I didn’t quite get the combination of he avocado puree and yuzu tapioca either alongside the dish.
I must, however, admit that the plating of the dish was rather aesthetically pleasing, edible flowers and all.
Roast lamb rump with grilled tongue, cumin spiced eggplant, zucchini and red capsicum
The main course came in the form of a lamb dish that came directly from Chef Matt Moran’s family farm.
The lamb was tender and not as gamey as I would have expected it to be, the slight acidity from the tomato based sauce helped to cut through any gamey-ness and heavy-ness of the dish.
More on that here: http://www.ariarestaurant.com/default.asp?action=article&ID=21657
Mandarin Panna Cotta with sauternes, mandarin and a burnt butter ice cream
The panna cotta was perfect – the texture was what I would have expected it to be. The citrus elements of the dish combined well with it, providing for a rather well balanced dessert.
Special mention goes to the excellent complimentary sour dough bread that was presented at the start the meal too.
Prices for lunch depend on the number of courses – One course goes for A$44, two courses go for A$72 and three courses go for A$89. It is definitely, not the cheapest in town, but you do get excellent service and a beautiful view. Although, that said, it is far too expensive in my opinion for lunch and there are many other more affordable and probably equally good alternatives in the area too.
1 Macquarie Street
East Circular Quay
Tel: +61 2 9252 2555