Aria Redux n = 2

For a previous visit to Aria, please click here.

Sydney is full of awesome festivals. At almost any time of the year, you’re going to find some sort of festival. In fact, it’s quite weird to not have one festival going on at any point in time. It’s almost the norm.

Aria, for its part, featured a special 2-course dinner for $55 which includes a glass of Bartlett’s wine – either a pinot grigio or a classic red. I hadn’t intended to go, but when a group of friends expressed interest I’m pretty sure I was the first to say yes 😛

Man, it really doesn’t take much to tempt me with food does it…

Date Visited: 23/1/2013
Address: 1 Macquarie St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: Seared fillet of king salmon w/white asparagus, herb farfalle & pine nuts

Aria View

Oh man, they need to rid the pillars in the future.

Well, we didn’t exactly get the best seat in the house, but what can you do – nobody made a seating request during the booking so alas, we get a classic first world problem here. It’s still not bad, you can see most of the harbour in any case.

If you’re wondering why it’s still daytime…two words: daylight savings. Yeah, pretty cool.

Aria cutlery

Cutlery photography is strangely awesome

Aria tableware

Ahh, these look familiar…

Aria Interior

A very different seating location to last time

We were seated at a different end of the restaurant versus the last time. I didn’t realise Aria could seat so many people! It’s definitely multiple hundreds. Also kind of worrying though – if they don’t fill up, I can only imagine the horrific rent price here, at 1 Macquarie!

Nevertheless, that’s a problem for them to know and solve, and for me to ignore and enjoy the food instead. Enjoy I shall!

Aria Bread

Everything starts with bread. Always(almost)

Bread at Aria is like always, it’s good bread, and all my comments from the previous post apply here.

Aria sweet potato soup

Sweet potato soup

The same actually goes for the amuse bouche – it’s that delicious sweet potato soup that I would drink a giant bowl of if I could. It’s lacking the stuff at the top, but the gravy of it is what matters.

Aria Sashimi of Kampachi w/pickled octopus, volcanic salt, samphire and basil & mango sauce

Sashimi of Kampachi w/pickled octopus, volcanic salt, samphire and basil & mango sauce

I should have said earlier – the two course meal actually allows you to choose between one of two entrees and one of two mains. One option for entree was that delicious peking duck consomme that was had in the previous post. As such, all I’ll say here is that I did try it again, and yes, it’s pretty much the same stuff. That’s a good thing,

Something I didn’t have at Aria previously would be this sashimi. Definitely should have expected the Asian option.

  • Whoa, was it SALTY. Without hyperbole, I can say that Aria probably put 300% more salt into the fish than necessary. I was overwhelmed by how much salt there was. I still finished the dish, but painfully slowly, and God knows how many glasses of water I drank
  • Texture-wise though, the sashimi is pretty much spot on. No less was expected, and no less was given. It was not too easy to discern though, thanks to that salt…
Aria kampachi sashimi

Looks fishy

Aria pickled octopus

That pickled octopi…

Aria kampachi sashimi & pickled octopus

How it stacks together

  • There’s also the question of the pickled octopus – that was a lot more enjoyable. The chewiness of the tentacle, the tamer flavour, all worked very well relative to the sashimi.

I really have no idea what happened there, it seemed like such an obvious stuff up. Was it deliberate? A question left to the ages…

Aria Seared fillet of king salmon w/white asparagus, herb farfalle & pine nuts

Seared fillet of king salmon w/white asparagus, herb farfalle & pine nuts

The first main I had a try of may quite possibly be the best seared salmon fillet I’ve ever tasted. That skin, that CRUNCH, the tender flesh on the inside…

  • Perfect texture. PERFECT. I have never liked cooked salmon as much as I do with this dish. I have literally never had better texture
  • If there were any issues it would be the oiliness – glistening, really, but also somewhat expected of what is classified as an oily fish. I can’t help but feel like I didn’t eat something particularly healthy, despite the fact that it’s salmon
  • The crunchiness of the white asparagus provided relief from the salmon at opportune moments, and I relished on their texture
  • That foam is lemon foam I’m pretty sure. Its taste was very subtle (or maybe my tongue was already gone from the saltiness before)

Yeah, a pretty fine dish indeed.

Aria seared salmon

The best skin, ever

Aria Char-grilled sirloin w/summer vegetables, bone marrow & salsa verde

Char-grilled sirloin w/summer vegetables, bone marrow & salsa verde

I don’t think I’ve had steak many times recently, so it was quite nice to dig into this little piece of beefy goodness.

  • Big points on presentation, Aria has made steak look colourful! As new research supposedly suggests that colour affects taste who knows, maybe the dish will taste better as a result
  • The steak itself is very good. It doesn’t push boundaries, and sits flush with the kind of quality you’d expect from a decent steakhouse. Textures are good, and flavour is particularly rich, especially if you eat it with the bone marrow
  • The various veggies and salsa verde complete the steak and add texture/flavour whenever you decide 🙂

Solid man? Solid main.

Aria sirloin steak

Steak ‘n’ “chips”

Aria Sirloin Steak

Classic potato ball, except wait – it’s bone marrow!

Aria sirloin steak

Classic medium

There was sadly no dessert, but we did get petit fours! Closeenough.jpg

Aria petit fours

Petit fours

These are very similar to the petit fours I received at the previous Aria visit, so read about it there for extra details.

One new item would be those white lamington-like pieces on the right. They weren’t exactly lamingtons, but I couldn’t really put my finger on what they were…

…doesn’t matter, they’re delicious enough 8D

Aria petit fours

Those chocolate truffles mmm

Aria petit fours

Is there such thing as a sophisticated lamington?

Looks like Aria’s still doing well, I wonder when I’ll visit it next time?

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

The Good: still that quality I’ve come to expect of Aria, great views, price of meal reasonable (err, still exxy) when factoring in wine

What could be improved: I wish I could forgo the wine and pay less :P, that salty sashimi oh wow…

I give  a grand total of seven Caesars out of ten – 7/10

Aria on Urbanspoon

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