Dining at the top of town has definitely taken a turn for the better with Elton Inglis at the helm. His accessible, fixed price menus - 2-Course ($75/head), 3-Course ($95/head) or the 6-Course Chef’s Menu ($99/head) – appear to have led to the democratisation of a space traditionally reserved for the ruling class.
With the price of your dinner locked in, allow yourself to get waylaid in the cocktail bar to take in the spectacular view with a Tennessee Breakfast ($21). A newcomer from their autumn menu, this cocktail moderates house-made bacon bourbon with orange, honey and pomegranate syrup, cleverly united by thyme.
Arranged in easily explicable categories, the extensive list had me flicking straight to For The Most Adventurous and a Smokey Eye ($21) that tamed Ardbeg Uigeadail with Grand Marnier and maple syrup.
Engaging with their equally strong wine offering should be enough to lure you to your table and get things underway. Company Sommelier Andres Aragon is an excellent ambassador for the weighty list. By listening carefully to diner preferences and imparting vinous back-stories with warmth, emotion and genuine enthusiasm, Aragon intrigued me into drinking my first Slovenian wine – the 2012 Château Belá Riesling ($69/bottle) – before winning me over completely with the 2014 Roux Beauté Roussanne ($140/bottle).
With luscious texture and a taste that reminded me of grilled pineapple, this juicy, biodynamic Roussanne ends quite dry. By teaming it with the menu highlight – an indulgent smoked ham hock and foie gras ballotine, gentled by ginger bread, pickled shimeji and blackberry – Aragon made me into a lifetime fan. The clever dish has become something of a menu signature, heralding the arrival of Head Chef Elton Inglis, and remaining on the menu ever since.
What Inglis does very well here is land beautiful dishes that are also very enjoyable to eat. With lime green peas, sweet watermelon and just a hint of wasabi, Inglis tames kingfish sashimi using bonito flakes into a dish that should please even those who aren't all that keen on raw fish.
Tomato and basil consommé ensures the oyster course equally accessible, especially against the 2014 Joseph Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis ($18/glass); a standout on the well-populated by-the-glass list.
Adding anticipation and drama into your night, Inglis teams roasted quail breast, baby beetroot, goat’s curd and barrel-shaped semolina gnocchi with a quivering soft-centred quail egg. Dispatch it quickly with your knife, and allow nature’s own rich, golden saucing to pool across your plate.
The grill is put to good use on a range of beef from across the Eastern seaboard. Your beef options run from O’Connor in Gippsland, though to Rangers Valley in New England, all the way to Master Kobe in Queensland. The 230g Master Kobe 9+ striploin is juicy inside, and well charred outside, cooked to the recommended medium, though it does add on a menu surcharge of $45. Equally exciting, and available within the set price, is a beautiful piece of Ōra King salmon from New Zealand - luscious orange flesh lies under crisp skin on a bed of braised celery, with mussels and cherry tomatoes.
There’s a good case for coughing up ten bucks apiece to level up to the 360 dessert platter for two featuring all five of the desserts.
Debating which is the best as the city whirls around you is the perfect way to cap off a great evening. (It’s the Granny Smith green apple, with apple foam, sorbet, pistachio cake and mascarpone...)
360 Bar and Dining
Sydney Tower Dining, Reception Level 4, Sydney Westfield, Sydney
Ph: (02) 8223 3883