Aria

December 22nd, 2009

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I was lucky enough to be taken to Aria for a Christmas lunch!

Mango - cheese cake with ginger crumble, lime jelly and roasted pineapple sorbet

Mango - cheese cake with ginger crumble, lime jelly and roasted pineapple sorbet

Sydney city looked spectacular on the bright sunny day we went out for lunch, with views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Pity I didn’t take photos of them, too concerned about the food perhaps? (truly obsessed with food I am)

Coffee - warm coffee cake with espresso ice cream, coconut sorbet and passionfruit

Coffee - warm coffee cake with espresso ice cream, coconut sorbet and passionfruit

Everything was lovely at Aria, the room, the staff, Matt Moran – yes, we did see Matt Moran, and a good friend was nice enough to go and ask if he’d mind having a photo with me 🙂

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There was a very good range on the menu (as we had a group booking), with 5 choices per course. I couldn’t go past the pork belly for the entrée and when it came out, I was glad with my choice. All portions were very generous, the pork belly was gorgeous and rich with a beautiful crispy skin on top. There was a large amount of fat under the skin, which I’m sure most people would have enjoyed, although I don’t eat much fat at all, and had to remove some of this. The pork had a fantastic pork croquette and beautiful pear chutney accompanying it, along with a paradise pear which worked surprisingly well.

Pork Belly - Kurobuta sweet pork belly with pork croquette, paradise pears and pear chutney

Pork Belly - Kurobuta sweet pork belly with pork croquette, paradise pears and pear chutney

I tried a small amount of the Kingfish with some octopus carpaccio and am starting to think – I may actually like a bit of seafood (in the past I have had quite badly cooked seafood, but am coming to realise it’s not all that bad).

Kingfish - sashimi and cerviche with octopus carpaccio, cucumber and citrus

Kingfish - sashimi and cerviche with octopus carpaccio, cucumber and citrus

For the main I chose the lamb, which was perfectly cooked and again, generous in size. The plate looked like an artwork, with everything perfectly placed, baby artichokes and lovely sauce for the lamb.

Lamb - basil scented fillet with red capsicum, baby artichokes and green olive and lavender sauce

Lamb - basil scented fillet with red capsicum, baby artichokes and green olive and lavender sauce

Trevalla - roasted with glazed witlof, chesnut mushrooms, white beans and chicken jus

Trevalla - roasted with glazed witlof, chesnut mushrooms, white beans and chicken jus

Now to dessert, and I always leave room for dessert. It was moderately hard to choose the dessert. Don’t get me wrong, everything sounded amazing (and looked absolutely fabulous when they arrived), but I was choosing between the strawberry dessert and the chocolate tasting plate (remember I tried to make that one?). I heard the strawberry dessert was fantastic. Everything from the creamy panna cotta to the wonderful sorbet. I would love to try this.

Valrhona Chocolate - rich chocolate delice with chocolate sorbet

Valrhona Chocolate - rich chocolate delice with chocolate sorbet

Strawberry - poached strawberries with panna cotta, clotted cream and shortbread

Strawberry - poached strawberries with panna cotta, clotted cream and shortbread

I wasn’t sure whether the chocolate plate would be similar at all to the one I made in presentation or taste. When it came out it looked gorgeous. Everything was perfectly positioned, nothing was melting (like mine) and the chocolate had the signature snap to it. The macaron was actually my favourite on the plate, as it was lovely and sweet. I think I have to come to terms that I can’t deal with too much bitterness. Although every part of the dessert was lovely, I couldn’t finish it. I can think of several 85% -99% cocoa chocolate lovers who would have adored this dessert, but I’m still struggling with that high percentage of cocoa. I need the sugar and the milk, so unfortunately couldn’t appreciate and finish this dish like I would have hoped.

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What a lovely lunch.

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

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7 Comments

  1. sippitysup says:

    What a fabulous meal! You look so happy in all the pictures that I can tell it was delicious. GREG

  2. Steph says:

    Wow what a great place to go for a Christmas lunch! And you’re so lucky to grab a photo with Matt 🙂 Yeah I’m not sure I would be able to handle that much rich cocoa either!

  3. Looks like a lovely lunch indeed! Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

  4. How exciting! I wish someone would take me to Aria for Christmas lunch lol. I remember how well you did the Aria dessert, in fact it looked so much like that first photo! You look absolutely gorgeous in the photos too and you’re taller than Matt! :O

  5. Karen says:

    The desserts look absolutely gorgeous! (And look like they taste it too…)

  6. Yay! I remember you writing on my Aria post that you hoped to go there one day – you made it! I was too busy taking photos of the food as well, instead of the view 😉 Love the presentation of everything, it all looks gorgeous, and so do you!

  7. Alli says:

    What a great place to spend lunch! Ever since seeing Masterchef I have wanted to visit and I am hoping on my next trip to Sydney in Feb it will happen…fingers crossed. After seeing all you photos I definitely have to go!

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