Quick break from books for a quick food post!
Aqua Dining is a waterfront restaurant in North Sydney; at Milsons Point, to be exact. It has lovely sweeping views of the well-known Sydney landmarks — the Harbour Bridge looms close enough to frame the Opera House, and the city skyline isn’t too shabby either. Luna Park is on its right, and I’m sure the ferris wheel is nice when lit up at night. They have a private sunken terrace area at the very end of the restaurant that gives you front row views of the harbour, which you can hire for private events or functions.
Apparently, the young professional Sydneysiders did not know of this restaurant. It was my husband’s mother who booked this place for lunch after our brief civil wedding ceremony in equally beautiful Cope’s Lookout (5 minutes walk if you’re not wearing high heels, less than 10 minutes if you are). It’s definitely a good place for special events, or to impress a date (I mean, that view!).
The mother-in-law chose the set menu and the wines; I couldn’t find anything to disagree with on the choices when they showed it to me.
I have to note they served us sourdough bread with olive oil before this, which I scarfed down because I was starving and already had some champagne which had made me tipsy, and it was barely past noon!
Anyway. I chose the parmesan praline with compressed pear and port jelly which was yum. I mean, it’s cheese. I love cheese. The other half chose octopus, borlotti beans, and pickled red onions. I only had a bite, but I recall being pleasantly surprised with the pureed beans and octopus combo. I am weirdly squeamish with tentacles (I reckon my brain translates the visual image as slimy) but this one was very tasty.
For mains, I got the kingfish with green peas, brown butter, and buttermilk while the husband went for the lamb neck, fried artichoke, and sweet garlic puree. I wanted to get the lamb, but I’m still not over the roast lamb fest I had over the holidays (a full leg of lamb between two people!). I was kind of underwhelmed by the kingfish; by itself, it tasted very basic, so I had to use a lot of that sauce to make it more palatable for me. The fish was soft though, and not at all dry. I didn’t finish this though, because aside from it not bringing much of a gustatory excitement, I was mainly well full by this point (I blame the bread I had before this entire meal started).
I got to have two bites of the lamb though, and I remember wishing I asked for that instead. It was more to my tastes, and the meat was beautifully tender. I may not have been able to finish it still, because I struggled to even eat some of the next course, and it starred one of my favourites!
Dessert! I love chocolate cake, and this was going to be warm chocolate with mint ice cream which always makes me slightly wary in case excitement gets in the way, and then turns out it lacks chocolatey goodness and is exceptionally dry. This cake did NOT disappoint. I was disappointed that I was so full, that I had to have the husband eat the rest of it. Serious sad face. He loved it too! His coconut and lemon rice pudding with berry jam and caramelised pistachio wasn’t too bad, but it was a case of the chocolate cake being more yummy! Chocolate is powerful if wielded properly.
The menu items change by the season; I notice they’ve taken out the octopus and the lamb already at the time of this blog post being typed up. The service was good, they were very attentive. So attentive, that my flute was never empty, and I never realised how many glasses I’ve consumed because I seem to have been playing a one-sided race trying to empty the champagne flute before the wait staff had refilled. I never won, and I ended up saying no to more champagne at the extended drinking session down at The Deck.
Good food, great service, beautiful views — I have to tip this to the excellence of the kitchen and wait staff, and my mother-in-law’s exemplary taste!