Saturday 13 October 2018

30th birthday dinner at Aria, Sydney

For my 30th birthday in August, Dave and I spent a few days in Sydney before heading north to Byron Bay (which you can read about here). I was keen to go somewhere special for dinner on my actual birthday, particularly as we were spoilt for choice with Sydney's dining scene. After doing quite a bit of research, I decided that Aria would be the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful birthday dinner.

Aria is set in one of Sydney's best locations, just near the Opera House, overlooking the harbour. We had a 7pm booking, so when we arrived, the sun had set, giving us a wonderful view of the city lights shining over the harbour. One of the things I've noticed since moving away from Sydney is just how beautiful the city is whenever I come home to it. It is very easy to take for granted the place in which you live, and often it isn't until you move away and come back to visit that you truly appreciate a city for its beauty.

After looking over the menu, with its options of a three course al a carte, a four course al a carte, or a six course tasting experience (with the option of matching wines), we thought we'd go with something in the middle and decided on the four course al a carte option.

We were brought some deliciously soft, warm bread to start, along with an amuse bouche of crusted fresh tuna, before our entree courses arrived. We both opted for the incredibly fresh sashimi, followed by the pork belly, which was beautifully crispy on the outside, with tender meat within.

For our main course, we both went with an option 'from the grill' - I chose the grass-fed angus beef fillet, while Dave went for the grain-fed sirloin fillet. We also ordered the creamed royal blue potato and the roasted pumpkin as side dishes. Everything was absolutely incredible - the creamed royal potato in particular was the stand out, with its smooth, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and deliciously buttery taste.

For dessert, I obviously had to go with the chocolate option - the 'chocolate, chestnut, cognac, cocoa' dish. Dave also ordered this option, and it was made even more special with the extra 'Happy Birthday' chocolate sauce drizzled across the plate.

If that wasn't enough, we finished the meal with a cup of fresh peppermint tea and a plate of colourful and rich chocolate truffles.
I was incredibly full by the end of the evening (there is no way I could have managed the degustation menu) and felt thoroughly spoilt with each of the exquisite courses given to us, both in presentation and in taste. It truly was an incredible meal to start off this next decade.

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