Dining at Aria

March 20, 2013

DT and I went here back in December last year to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. We had booked 2 months in advance via their online booking system. I originally wanted to dine at Quay because I really wanted to try their famous Snow Egg dessert after watching Masterchef but they were booked out.

Aria was just how I expected it to be, very fancy and upper class and offered a nice view of The Opera House. The wait staff are very professional and extremely well-mannered so the service was excellent.

Consomme ($39)
This entree was a consomme consisting of duck dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms. The soup was rich in flavour and was reminiscent of the Chinese herbal soups my mum used to make. The dumplings were tender and the skin smooth in texture and not doughy at all. While the entree was good I don't believe it was worth $39 as it did not amaze me.

Kurobuta Pork Belly with pork croquette , muntries and star anise ($47)
I'll admit DT chose a better entree than I. The presentation was fantastic and resembles a work of art. Kurobuta pork is a highly prized pork in Japan and comes from a breed of pig called Black Bershire. It was the most succulent and softest pork I have ever eaten and I can understand why it must be so highly prized. Truly a melt in your mouth experience. The pork skin was also perfectly crispy.

Roasted chicken ($60)
The presentation of this main was nice but not as impressive as the pork belly entree. The chicken was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Although for $60 you would think they would be a little more generous with the serving size.

Roasted Lamb ($62)
DT said that the lamb was very good in that it was extremely tender and flavoursome and he greatly enjoyed his main.

Panna cotta
I like Aria's take on pannacotta as it definitely doesn't look like your traditional pannacotta. Very jelly-like and silky smooth. It was not overly sweet which was good. It was a lovely dessert but unfortunately not amazing.

Banana Souffle
On the menu it stated that the souffle would take about 20 minutes to come out. It smelt so good when it was finally brought to our table. The souffle was wonderfully airy, fluffy and warm. Each bite was like heaven as it was quite sweet and almost instantly dissolved in the mouth. I believe the ice cream was coffee-flavoured, sadly I cannot accurately recall. I do remember that it was creamy and complemented the souffle well. I was definitely impressed with this particular dessert. 

All in all I enjoyed my experience at Aria. It was very expensive (the total bill was approximately $200-250 and we came here on Sunday when there is a surcharge) but I think it is worthwhile to splurge occasionally. I would say honestly that the menu is hit or miss. Some dishes are amazing and some not so much but still very decent at the least. The menu does change, perhaps according to the season because I could not find all the dishes eaten on that night on the menu published on their website.

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