Restaurant views don’t come anymore impressive than this. Owned and run by Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan, Aria is positioned between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, affording diners sweeping views of the iconic landmarks. Taking its prime real estate and harbour views into account, you can almost understand the prices. At around $40 for entrees, $50 for mains, this is strictly special-occasion dining for most.
The interior is classic with white tablecloths, plush chairs and subtle lighting, and tables are generously spaced, giving the room a luxurious feel. But only those lucky (or famous) enough to be seated near the floor-to-ceiling windows get to fully enjoy the view.
The food is sophisticated and the plating creative. The ever-changing mod-Oz menu features quality ingredients treated simply, and might include Peking duck consommé with dumplings and shaved abalone, or barramundi with grilled cuttlefish, apple and green olives. Desserts are divine: try the mandarin panna cotta or poached pear with hazelnut cake, praline ice cream and shiraz granita.
Add to this an impressive wine list (managed by award-winning head sommelier Matthew Dunne) and smart, efficient service.