For me, the view of Sydney Harbour is strikingly picturesque and as touristy as it sounds, I never tire of it. Framed by the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, it’s hard to find another scene which manages to completely encapsulate the essence and style of Sydney. With interstate visitors, we ended our weekend with lunch at Aqua Dining, above the swimming pool at Milson’s Point. It was a gorgeous day, clear and sunny and it was unfortunate that we couldn’t sit outside (too many people). With the Harbour view on one side and Luna Park on the other, every view was postcard worthy.
Complimentary bread was provided and topped up throughout the meal, served with olive oil (which I prefer over butter). The bread was soft, nothing spectacular but a satisfying carb hit nonetheless.
Immaculate presentation, which the large, juicy prawns sitting within the delicately balancing tower.
Preserved lemon and green olive salsa
Crisp fried zucchini flower with white anchovy
This dish was ordered by nine of the ten people present at lunch (including myself). The scallops were fat, succulent morsels, which married well with the preserved lemon and olive salsa to provide a light, fresh flavour explosion. The crunchy zucchini flower, filled with salty white anchovy adorned the haloumi and added a heartier dimension to the plate. A hit with the entire table, I loved these scallops!
Fig and hazelnut tarte tatin, croquette potato, caramelised pancetta,
Accompanied by a smoked tomato lamb jus
I didn’t try any of this but I was told that the lamb was perfectly cooked and the fig and hazelnut tarte tatin was to die for.
I was in a seafood mood and ordered this fish dish which was one of three fish options on the mains menu (the others being a barramundi or ocean trout). Simply satisfying. Perfectly cooked fish, atop a mass of fregolone mixed with wilted spinach. The foamy sauce was light and the asparagus sweet. I’ve always wanted to cook fregolone at home but have never seen it for sale here. My understanding is that it’s a pasta made with semolina, but to me, it tasted more like miniature spaetzle (which is flour based). Like rest of the mains, a decent portion, I managed only half of the fish fillet, passing the rest to Herr Moutarde.
Spiced with juniper on braised leek with a cauliflower fritter and a seeded mustard jus
This dish arrived to my left and directly across me. I didn’t try any but reports for the tasty looking veal were good.
Crisp baby kipfler potatoes, confit garlic, rosemary and parsley
From tuscany, this chocolate has won
Best chocolate in the world, consecutively for 3 years,
Here showcased in four different styles
A true chocolate fiend, Herr Moutarde could not go past this dessert choice. From the far left: Chocolate cake type crumbs topped with ice cream, chocolate tarte, chocolate slice/cake/brownie served with cherries and cream, chocolate crème brulee type dish. The chocolate crème brulee was almost mousse like in texture, yet still decidedly rich and dense. The fine layer of caramelised sugar was sweet with no burnt tasting quality (which I prefer). The cake with cherries was nice, being a square of heavy chocolate cake, but for some reason didn’t stand out like the rest of the offerings. The chocolate tart could easily have bought a tear to my eye (if I was that type). Silky chocolate filling encased with a short chocolate tart shell – chocolate heaven. I didn’t try the chocolate crumbs but was told they too were delicious. Overall I think a nice showcase for the distinctive flavour of Amadei chocolate, which seemed to have a well rounded cocoa flavour without being overly bitter, sticky or sweet.
My choice to end the meal. I am by no means a dictionary (so please don’t berate me if I’m wrong here), but for me, the word orgy is synonymous with unadulterated pleasure and excess. After seeing this pretty concoction served to neighbouring tables, then reading it’s description when our time for dessert came, it was an easy decision. The mousse was light yet luscious, contrasted by the juicy berries (mainly strawberries mixed throughout) and crunchy meringue. The sorbet on top was lovely and I found myself thoroughly enjoying this summery dessert. I think it would have been very easy for this dish to become much too sweet but it wasn’t, which was a pleasant surprise to those at the table who ordered it.
The last time I was at Aqua Dining, it was for my birthday dinner last year (before I started blogging), where the enjoyable experience was tainted by the fact that I was served a raw lemon soufflé…twice. It truly was an unsettling end, mitigated by the awesome company I had, the impeccable staff and the otherwise flawless food. The menu has since changed, with an apple soufflé now on offer. This meal was chosen by almost all on the table, and I’m happy to report, arrived perfectly cooked! I tried some on my right and was blown away at the delicate texture and seemingly pure apple essence which emanated from the warm mouthfuls. I definitely recommend.
White chocolate ganache balls, either plain or mixed with chopped dried apricot and rolled in toasted coconut. YUM!
For our group, Aqua Dining provided a remarkably pleasant and satisfying dining experience, with fresh contemporary food and comprehensive wine list. – Not a bad way to ring in the new year. Smart service didn’t unnoticed either. The lunch specials (which I had for the first time this time round), offer additional value, but I think it’s worth going either night or day.
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Corner of Paul & Northcliff Streets
Milsons Point, NSW, 2061
Phone: (02) 9964 9998