Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's Do Lunch 2010 at Aria

It's October.  It's the Crave Sydney International Food Festival. It's Let's Do Lunch!

Aria Restaurant is always a popular spot for the Let's Do Lunch event.  And with almost a full house on the first days of the event, the kitchen and waitstaff at Aria already had the lunch routine down pat.

There was a queue waiting to be seated at 12pm when my lunch companion, Caroline,  and I arrived.  Short wait to be shown to our window table (Circular Quay view) before we decided to have the Let's Do Lunch special, with a glass of Brown Brothers savagnin (white wine) for Caroline and San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water for me ($35 each, for the main and a glass of wine, water or beer).

I like how you get bread and amuse bouche included:
Two mouthfuls of a rich, intensely flavoured Gazpacho to start. With grain bread with butter.

The featured main dish this year is a roasted fillet of Wild River barramundi, on a bed of crab and pea risotto. The fish was wonderfully moist, and hot (nothing worse than a cold fish!). The risotto had a good flavour, but was more al dente than I normally like.

We also shared a side of green beans with pears, walnuts and Roquefort (extra $14):

The Roquefort cheese was amazingly good, and the beans were crisp and moreish. The pear appeared to have been marinated (or was it actually quince?).

Dessert is an extra $20. There is a great selection of desserts, including a selection of cheese.
We went with the oeufs a la neige.

This was a beautiful plate of poached meringue, saffron cream, orange sorbet, chopped pineapple and ginger, and sesame seed wafers. Quite a strong scent of saffron in the bright yellow smear of cream, while the oeufs (meringue) were soft and melt-in-the-mouth.

Desserts are a highlight at Aria, I've found.  And as our waiter said, they are made for sharing. Caroline also had a flat white (around $5), though they didn't have the soy milk version she asked for.

As I mentioned before, the operation for Let's Do Lunch at Aria is like a well-oiled machine.  We were served by around 4 different, very efficient waitstaff during our 1 hour lunch. A bit rushed, but nothing to complain about.  The setting is also fantastic, and it's fun to gaze out the window at the camera-toting tourists strolling along the waterfront. Just as long as this camera-toting diner can have a lovely meal and dessert and take some pretty pictures.

My visit to Aria last year for Let's Do Lunch can be seen here. See if you can notice the similarities between the 2009 main dish and this year's...
 Aria is at:
1 Macquarie St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 02 9252 2555


  1. wow that dessert looks absolutely amazing im dying to try the sesame seed wafers!

  2. I am SO glad you splurged on dessert! That's always my favorite part of any meal and it did NOT fail to disappoint! Good stuff.

  3. Oh Bel, Aria sounds wonderful. I wish I could have gone with you (smile). Ooh, and that saffron cream is giving me all kinds of ideas...!

  4. wow look at that dessert! the skin on that fish looks wonderfully crispy, yum! Only complaint is...you didn't get the mash...how I drool at the memory of that mash...

  5. I was a little shocked at the price of the dessert, but then I gazed upon it..

  6. Aria seems to be a "must go to" during food month! The fish looks perfectly cooked. I like the crispy skin.

  7. These are always such good value but I've never worked in the city so have never been able to try =( Love the look of the dessert too - the oeufs resemble marshmallows!

  8. good to hear the service is still good. dessert looks lovely :-)

  9. The dessert looks exeptionally wonderful. Beautiful presentation i would not wantt o eat it! :)

  10. Oh yum looks good! The dessert is stunning!

  11. Ive never done "Lets do lunch" before!! always wanted to but never got around to it.. it also doesnt help that im not in the city during the week :( That dessert looks amazing!!

  12. Dessert looks stunning! Interesting that they've decided to do such a similar offering for both year's Lets Do Lunch

  13. I think the dessert's a winner! They're getting so much more complex, I'm surprised that they don't ask you to order them at the same time as you order the mains! He he!