Your ears pop on the way up to O Bar and Dining! Enter Australia Square and take the elevator up 47 floors to one of the most magical 360 views of Sydney and I guess that’s likely to happen.
Formally known as The Summit and a bit of a tourist spot, O Bar and Dining is attracting a local crowd of food lovers. On a casual Tuesday evening there’s a mix of corporate dinner meetings, couples on romantic dates and a few groups of friends sitting in the lounge enjoying drinks with a view.
This is a rotating restaurant. It takes an hour and 45 minutes to do a full rotation and in that time you’ll see some of the best views of Sydney. The bridge, the Opera House, twinkly city lights; it’s all there for you to gaze out upon through the floor to ceiling windows.
Ladies, be mindful of where you place your handbag. Leave it by the windowsill and you may find it on the other side of the restaurant by the time your main arrives.
Start with a cocktail and some warm olives while you peruse the menu. Head Chef Darren Templeman joined health conscious owner Michael Moore late last year. The both share a passion for fresh, “farm to table” style dining.
The food at O Bar is presented with a lot of care and style but the flavours are quite homely and comforting. Like the burrata di bufala served on cashew pesto with crisp chicken skin, olive and salted egg. Pierce the ball of burrata and watch the delicious gooey cheese spill out.
The sashimi of pink snapper is almost too pretty to eat. It’s served on some scorched avocado with finger limes and crisp tapioca pieces. Order the fine cut rumpsteak “tartare” it comes served in lettuce cups topped with avocado, peanuts, mint and shaves of radish. Leave the cutlery on the table, this one requires hands only.
For some heavier dishes try the Patagonian toothfish, a nice oily fish served baby tomatoes, smoked anchovy, aniseed and capers or the Milly Hill lamb rump with sheeps yoghurt, cumin, okra and sprouted lentils.
For dessert I suggest ordering both the hot plum soufflé with crème fraiche ice cream and rich zokoko chocolate AND the activated hazelnut gelato and praline sponge. You’ll want a friend to swap, share and compare notes.
Seasoned bartender Toby Hiscox heads up the drinks department at O Bar and Dining. Try his cocktail called The Kingsford. It’s a new take on the classic Aviation cocktail. Made with Four Pillars gin, lemon myrtle, fresh lime and chocolate bitters it comes with a commemorative stamp of the 50th anniversary of the first official air mail between Australia and UK. It goes well with the dessert and the petit fours.
There are a few things you need to be aware of at O Bar and Dining. Firstly, you can easily lose track of time up there in the sky. Before you know it, hours have passed and you’re a few bottles deep enjoying the view wishing you never had to leave. Secondly, you can easily lose track of your bearings. Make a trip to the bathroom and you’ll need to do a double take to find your table. But this is all part of the fun.
On Saturday evenings we’re told part of the restaurants turns into more of a lounge party vibe with a DJ. They’re open until 3am so you can drink, dine and dance your night away.
O Bar and Dining
264 George Street, Sydney 2000
02 9247 9777