Aria

Aria (1)

Aria is on my wish list, its time to take it off. The Matt Moran owned restaurant with 2 Chef’s Hats and a view that no mere mortal could afford little own wish for, which overlooks Sydney Harbour.

For our lunch date it’s a table of five, yours’ truly, bun, duck, cam and bron. Because of our extended party our table is back from the sweeping window views which is fine as what’s in front of us is so spectacular we could be in Hurstville and it wouldn’t matter.

On this hot summers day what better way than to start with a refreshing beer or as Cam says “its time to clear the dust out” so a Stone & Wood is ordered and we are officially off and running.

Stone & Wood
Stone & Wood

Aria for lunch offers one course for $46, two courses $74 and three courses for $89. Not bad considering what other high-end restaurants are offering for their lunch specials.

Speaking of ‘specials’ it’s a special that I order first up, a baked onion dish with shaved truffles and French cheese, this is great and has a real French onion soup taste about it, in a high end way of course, Bron agrees and offers a ‘this is fantastic mate’.  I mop up the ‘au jus’ with some sourdough, a great way to start.

Baked Onion dish
Baked Onion dish

Bun dives in to the Green Asparagus with burrata and states confidently ‘this could be the best asparagus I’ve ever eaten’. Wow!

Green Asparagus
Green Asparagus

No summers’ lunch goes uneaten without wine of course. A Pinot Noir comes to mind and after a conversation with the Sommelier whose accent I can’t quite pick we go with the 1999 Faisan Estate from Orange in NSW, which is intriguing considering its over 15 years old.

1999 Faisan Estate Pinot
1999 Faisan Estate Pinot

After the pouring Cam and I discuss and come to the conclusion its ‘fuller bodied’ than regular Pinot’s and has a real ‘woody’ taste/aroma that disappears the longer the meal goes as it breathes a little. Interesting.

The wine list is absolutely massive and so impressive it won the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015 ‘Wine list of the year’. The highest price bottle is a Red Burgundy, a Cote de Nuits, 1985 La Tache Grand Cru at $9300. The only way I’ll ever know what it tastes like is if Hugh Jackman invites me to lunch and burns some of his ‘Wolverine’ money…. unlikely.

Back to the food, for a main meal I’ve gone with the Raviolo of potato with green shallot and sage. I’m not sure what to make of this; it’s good without being earth shattering. I ordered it minus the chicken skin, possibly a fatal error.

Raviolo of Potato
Raviolo of Potato

Duck went all cannibal and ordered the duck, a ‘well done’ roasted Holmbrae duck breast with golden beetroots, elderflower and chamomile. Here is what Duck thought ‘hmmmmm, not as good as the duck I had at Jamie Oliver’s’. Lets hope the waiter didn’t hear that.

Ducks' Duck
Ducks’ Duck

For Bun’s main the cornucopia egg with broccoli, macadamia nuts and black truffle dressing is a highlight. I give it a taste and agree, it’s really great with wonderful array of flavors.

Cornucopia Egg
Cornucopia Egg

Lets get serious now and get into the Truffle mash potato, which incidentally was in the Sunday Telegraph’s Top 100 dishes around Sydney at number 67. This could be the best ‘mash’ I’ve ever tasted. Creamy and yummy, very very yummy.

Truffle Mash Potato
Truffle Mash Potato

For desert I’m ordering the valrhona chocolate ganache with cherries and warm chocolate doughnuts. These warm chocolate doughnuts intrigue me. On arrival I see no holes in my mini doughnuts but a lovely desert nonetheless.

Aria
Aria

There were a few ‘service’ missteps, Cam’s desert sake glass had muscatel poured into it, Duck had no forks when we arrived at the table and we felt some aloofness in the air from our particular waiter.

Been here a couple of times now and today gathering opinions around the table the experience were a little hit and miss. It’s the little things you notice and the service showed some signs of fraying. Will I be back?  Absolutely, it may just take a while.

Details:           www.ariarestaurant.com

Summary:      For lunch its great value for money with a gorgeous view and outrageous wine list. Sadly today, it was the little things that were lacking.

hallymustang rating            3.5/5    

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