August 3rd, 2011

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Aqua Dining

The location here is not just good, it’s dazzling! Sit perched on the edge of an aquamarine pool, populated (even on this cool day) by the bold and the beautiful.

The dining room is flanked by the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park, with the Sydney Opera House and Anzac Bridge also in view. Whilst many restaurants would rely on scenery, some thought has gone into the wine list here. You’ll find everything from an exceptional NV Gatinois ‘Grand Cru’ ($27/glass) from Ay, down to a reasonably priced, soft 2009 Pazo San Mauro Albarino ($59/bottle) from Rias Baixas.

Oysters ($3.90/each) suit the space, but their true flavour is somewhat hidden under cucumber, fennel and grappa.

The menu, created by Anthony Redondi, is Italian influenced with entrees including a good Carpaccio of Beef ($28) and an even better Tortellini of Oxtail and Truffle ($27).

The perfectly cooked pasta and hefty interior were balanced nicely by the sweetness of the Sangiovese jus.

Risotto of Scampi ($39) might not look exciting, but it's well-cooked and littered with chunks of scampi.

A salad of Roast Pear, Raddichio, Watercress, Hazelnut and Gorgonzola Dressing ($10) could have had more generous proportions, and was let down by floury and undercooked pear, interspersed with non-floury and perfectly cooked pear.

Char-grilled 500-Day Grain Fed Wagyu Rib Eye ($59) is tasty, and accompanied by petite potato morsels, reminding you you’re on the ‘healthy’ North Shore. Under seasoning is similarly a policy choice, but grinders sit on every table.

Paradoxically generous desserts like the Fig and Hazelnut Duo ($19) perhaps warrant sharing.The tart shell was overcooked, causing me some consternation as I didn't want Adam Liaw winner of Masterchef at the neighbouring table, to think I was uncouth as I jabbed my fork into it repeatedly to crack it.

A similarly creamy Apple and Buttermilk Panna Cotta ($18) sent me into dessert overload. Luckily I had a Three-Quarter Latte ($6) of Aqua's own blend of Karmee Coffee to power me back up the hill to my car!

At the moment they are currently running a Weekend Delight offer that gives you three courses for $75/person. (Wagyu is a $15 surcharge.)

Aqua Dining
Corner Paul & Northcliff Streets, Milsons Point
Ph: (02) 9964 9998

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