Aria Restaurant, Circular Quay

 

If you follow this season’s Master Chef, you will notice Matt Moran was one of the guest judges on the judge panel. I was over the moon when I heard that our business partner BTIG is bringing us to Aria restaurant located opposite of the opera house for lunch. The whole time during one of the pressure test, where contestants have to recreate Matt Moran’s duck consommé dish with abalone, I would rave about how creative it is to have a dish that has Asian influence but in a form of soup that made by a non-Asian chef.

Ratings
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $36 – $42
Main: $44 – $56
Dessert: $24 – $28
Degustation: $160-$176 (w/o wine), $260-$286 (w/wine)
Corkage: No BYO, fully licensed
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Dark
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: 2-3 Days
Child friendly/High Chair: No

 

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When we first walked in, the receptionist greeted with a friendly smile and took us to the table. The restaurant was very “corporate” style, I wouldn’t say it’s a very nice décor and most people were having a business lunch as you can tell by their corporate attire. We were given a seated close to the window with fabulous views of Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

We decided to go for the 2 courses for $68. As much as I would love to try the dessert too but I think my little stomach will struggle a little bit.

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A complimentary amuse bouche is served to us to start off, it is a wild mushroom and asparagus soup. Although I am not a big fan of asparagus but I couldn’t taste any of it, but instead I can taste a dash of sweetness that came from the mushroom.

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Peaking duck consommé with duck dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms

As mentioned before, how can I go pass a dish that has been feature in a Master Chef pressure test? So I opted for the duck consommé. The bowl came out to the table covered and once it is placed in front of me the waiter lifted off the lid allowing the aroma to come through the nose. I can’t wait no more! First spoonful was boiling hot with intense flavours. Floating on the top was some coriander and herbs which further raise this soup to a whole new level. The dumplings itself was a bit soggy but overall was very nice. I wouldn’t consider this as a traditional Chinese dish because I’ve never taste anything like that before.

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Scallops – spiced and roasted with glazed witlof, pistachios, and dried apricots

Nadia ordered the scallops and she claim that it was cooked perfectly. I didn’t try this dish but from the look of it, I can tell the scallop was just cooked through with a nice brown surface.

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Truffled potato mash, $15

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Borlotti bean, cotechino sausage and rocket salad, $16

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Cured New Zealand salmon with kombu and earl great tea, yuzu tapioca and avocado puree

I never thought you could put a tea together with a salmon. But the presentation was very beautiful, almost too beautiful to eat. Down side was a bit small to feed a big eater.

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Pork Belly – Kurobuta sweet pork belly with pickled watermelon and crackling

Few other people ordered the pork belly, the skin looks perfectly crisp. At the end of the meal I noticed that most people left the watermelons on the plate unfinished.

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Braised beef cheek with red onion choucroutte, roasted chestnut and puff wild rice

I ordered the beef as the main. Despite that I was half full already but I still managed to finish the whole dish. Because it is just so good!! I didn’t know what purpose the puff wild rice served initially but after a bite of the meat I understand that the puff rice can lighten the richness of the sauce and offer some crunchiness to the dish. The meat itself was tender and fall off the bone.

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Barramundi – Crisp skinned fillet with grilled cuttlefish, apple, green olives and horseradish sauce

I rarely ordered fish as my main in a restaurant, purely because none of them impressed me but this one in Aria totally changed my view. It is very hard to cook a fish right but Aria did it. The fish was moist and juicy. It felt like it melts in the mouth. The skin was absolutely amazing and crispy.

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slow cooked lamb neck with a potato gratin, Chinese artichokes, nameko mushrooms and wild asparagus

All of the people on the table either order fish, beef or lamb. I didn’t get a taste of the lamb but it looks perfectly cook still with a little bit pink in the middle.

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Conclusion: Unbeatable location and excellent food. The service was impeccable, they gave us attention to our needs throughout the meal. I would definitely order the dessert next time when I come here because it looks absolutely delicious looking at the table next to us.

 

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Address:

1 Macquaire Street, Circular Quay 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 12:00 to 14:30, 17:30 to 23:00, Sat 17:00 to23:00, Sun 18:00 to 22:00 
Ph:+612-9252-2555
Web: www.ariarestaurant.com.au

Getting There:

Parking: Macquarie Street, Pitt street 
By train: Circular Quay

Map picture

Aria on Urbanspoon

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christine
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 12:45:30

    looks stunning. have been meaning to go there for awhile. great pix – especially the salmon! looks great.. and that peking duck consomme.. sounds fabulous!

    Reply

  2. lateraleating
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 23:30:02

    Lucky you! All dishes look amazing, I’d struggle to fit dessert in, too, which is a shame.

    Reply

  3. Tina@foodboozeshoes
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 01:52:13

    Soggy dumplings…. 😦 But I’d prob choose that entree too!
    The beef cheek looks like an amazing main dish – perfect for this cool weather.

    Reply

  4. Laura
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 09:06:11

    all the dishes look amazing but i’m wondering, where do you put it all?

    Reply

  5. Adrian (Food Rehab)
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 13:48:45

    I have a weakness for cured salmon- looks amazing. Will finally eat here whne I’m up in Sydney next.

    Reply

  6. betty
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 03:39:28

    wow – the food looks amazing!

    Reply

  7. Nic@diningwithastud
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 10:10:35

    I’ve only been to Aria once on a work lunch with my boss and yeah it is very corporate which kind of puts you off a little. Your food looks amazing!

    Reply

  8. Melissa
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 20:49:22

    wow the presentation was extremely good, too pretty to eat them! i’m going there on my birthday next month, excited!! 🙂

    Reply

  9. JasmyneTea
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 11:48:51

    Love the duck consomme, and I always look out for a good truffled mash! I love how your restaurant reviews are so comprehensive too 🙂

    Reply

  10. Sara @bellyrumbles
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 23:00:06

    The pork belly looks absolutely divine. I wonder why people left the watermelon?

    Reply

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