Some nosheries just have an unfair advantage apropos scenery, and Aria has it in spades, with expansive views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour (albeit slightly obstructed by random pillars). The restaurant itself is also stunning, with huge floor to ceiling windows to take full advantage of the great views. The large open space is also very nicely appointed, with luxurious chairs and simple elegance displayed throughout (I cannot remember any artwork in the dining room at all, not that it was needed with the views on offer). We had the pre-theatre menu, smartly designed for those attending shows at the nearby Opera House; it is also one of the few restaurants in the area open earlier than normal at 5p.m. to cater for theatre patrons. The menu is also very simple, split into very easy descriptions, titled Rabbit, Pork, Scallops, etc. We had the pork belly and rabbit ballotine for entrees (accompanied by a beautiful brioche). Both dishes were very tasty, with the rabbit the standout; lovely shreds of rabbit ballotined with pistachios. The pork belly had a beautifully crisp skin, but the flesh was slightly dry. For mains we had the beef sirloin and roast chicken, both of which were nice but a bit simple. The steak was cooked medium-well as per instruction but it arrived a little cool. The chicken breast was generally moist but had certain parts slightly dry, as is expected when the meat is not evenly sized all the way. The desserts were amazing however, with the banana wonderfully presented and balanced perfectly. My Valrhona chocolate was amazingly rich and the different types of chocolate presented was mind-boggling (mousse, sorbet, crisp, etc.). This chocolate dessert was made by the two finalists in the Masterchef Australia final, and I now know how complex it is to achieve with so many components. Overall, the experience was a very good one. The food - with the exception of the mains - were delicious and in some cases special. Combined with the great views, ambience of the dining room, and the exceptional service (probably the best we've had in any Sydney restaurant), Aria is a great Sydney restaurant.
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