Standing an impressive forty-seven floors above the streets of Sydney, O Bar and Dining is a hidden gem sitting amongst the clouds. As you ascend the core of Australia Square, you will reach the top in no less than thirty seconds. I will warn you now that your breath and impression of the city will change as soon as those lift doors open. After being immediately greeted by the maitre dí, you will get your first glimpse of the city from up high as you are escorted to your table. I had requested a window table, and here's where it gets funny. Iíd asked for a table with the best view of the harbour bridge. Little did I know that O Bar and Dining is in fact a revolving restaurant, and has been spinning its beautiful pirouettes of panoramic beauty since 1968.
Sydney CBD from level 47 of Australia Square
So letís get to the good stuff. There is much to be said about O Bar and Dining. To begin with, the food. I must first introduce the mastermind behind the creations. Chef Michael Moore is not to be confused with the infamous American documentary maker. His food philosophy revolves around healthy flavour-filled, vibrant and beautifully balanced whole foods using locally scoured and sustainable produce. As someone who is becoming increasingly aware about produce and health conscience; a glance at the menu had my mind fluttering with excitement. We kicked things off with the confit potted salmon and sweet herbs, baby capers and seeded toast.
Confit of potted salmon for starters
Ten points for balance on this dish. Not only was it rich and creamy from the flaky salmon, but the added lemon on the side was the perfect accompaniment to bring this starter to life. Onto the entrees!
The Kingfish bruschetta is almost too pretty TO eat!
I ask you this: Can food get more beautiful than this? I eat with my eyes just as much as I do with my mouth. This beauty was the Kingfish bruschetta with pickled red chilli, red onions and sweet garlic dressing. If youíre looking to have your taste buds sing on the first mouthful, this is the dish. Incredibly rich and lush from the first mouthful, youíll be racking your brain wondering what is in the sauce. Nothing like a secret sauce right?
Seared Scallops and swordfish with romesco sauce. Absolutely divine.
The seared scallops and swordfish with romesco, roman beans, raw almonds and piccolino olives were just as impressive. The sweet scallops were perfectly cooked and paired really well with the incredibly complex and warming romesco; and the crunch from the almonds pulled the dish together on texture and flavour. The rest of the night only got better from there.
Sun setting over Sydney CBD
Itís hard to believe a restaurant like this isnít making much conversation. Previously known as The Summit, you experience the CBD from a completely fresh perspective. And the view is simply stunning. One thing Iíll make mention of now was how impeccable the service was. Not only were the waiters attentive to the point of water refills within 60 seconds of you placing your water glass down, but so was the timing. With a two-hour limit on reservations, a full 360-degree rotation of the restaurant takes one hour and forty-five minutes at a rate of one metre a minute. The timing of the dishes felt impeccably precise, but it never felt like we were kept waiting long, and our plates were cleared quickly without feeling rushed.
Perfectly roasted lamb rump with spiced lentils
With the sun beginning to set, our mains arrived on cue. As recommended, we had the steamed fish in the bag with mussels, young leek, tomatoes, borlotti beans and samphire. As youíd imagine, fish in a bag doesnít scream presentation, but once I tore the bag open, it was beautifully cooked and incredibly aromatic with a salad of fresh herbs on top. We also gorged ourselves on the roasted lamb rump cooked oh so perfectly pink with fragrant lentils, fennel, date, honey and preserved lemon.
The Harbour Bridge and Opera House lighting up as night falls
Between the spectacular views of the city lighting up as the sun withdrew its last piercing rays from the city and the sumptuous food; it was really easy to stop and see how beautiful Sydney can be and what it has to offer. It has been a long time since I have been thoroughly impressed by all factors of a restaurant. This was truly an incredible dining experience. From the service to the views to the food and itís philosophy, O Bar and Dining definitely rates top 5 in my books.
Where: Level 47, Australia Square 264 George Street Sydney NSW.
Why: For that special occasion
Cost: entrees $29-39, mains $35-49.
When: For spectacular views of the city, visit during dinner just before the sun sets.