Up on level 47 of Australia Square, O Bar and Dining is one of Sydney’s premiere bar and dining experience. The most apparent and prominent aspect of O bar is the fantastic views of the Sydney cityscape in the restaurant as it rotates. This isn’t sydney eye tack; Its slickly modern, darkly luxe. We’ve been before during 2014’s Bars March and had cocktails on a bit of a barhop drinking all their cocktails and its a dining revisit. Darren Templeton ex-Rest Atelier is now at the helm here as head chef and we checkin for dinner; and have our expectations blown away. It’s a pricey meal (let’s get that out of the way) – but wow what a meal.
To be honest, we dropped in for dinner after spending an arvo with the Australian Brewery lads at the Brewers’ belated Xmas drinks and tap take over and we can’t quite recall what we drank. Suffice to say, these were tasty drinking cocktails – $18 which is astounding value for cocktails at an establishment like this.
Housemade soy tofu & marinated spinach, toasted seeds, dashi, fragrant basil $20 This is a very delicate entree with a subtlety and fragrance to the dish. We plonked our faces in it and inhaled its aroma. There is a complexity and nuance interplay of flavours and its quite beautiful. The dashi broth was gorgeous and even made what was a familiar ingredient cherry tomatoes sing. You’ll peck away at the bowl. Its not huge but there’s a world of flavours in it.
steamed chawanmushi & white miso beef salad, sea urchin and lotus root $30. These little pots of chawanamushi had sea urchin (Uni) and roe in them and was richly flavoured with briny sea notes. The textural and taste interplay between the very soft briny chawanmushi and the earthy crunchy miso beef salad made it truly astounding to eat. Going back and forth between both was one of the singular dining highlights we’ve had. Earth, Sea, Earth, Sea. It’s amazing and a must.
San chow bow fine cut rumpsteak “tartare” & chilli spices, avocado, peanuts, mint, radish $35. One of the things about this menu is the simple array of ingredients and the combinations of flavour that combine to make for a spritely bite. The Tartare tickles the palate with its creaminess and fine dice. There’s about 4-5 bites in each leaf and we thought the de-seeded chilli was a nice touch. You get the taste, but non of the heat.
sake cured cobia & shaved blood plum, wild rice, wasabi, nashi $29 Covia’s an unfamiliar white fish for us and this delicate cured fish dish had interesting textures with the puffed wild rice adding a nuttiness and crunch.
The online menu is a bit different for this and we can’t quite find what this was. But the somewhat bitter/firm notes of the mini zucchini (and flower) and array of crisply fresh vegetable paired well with the fish – possibly a poached silver dory fillets. Perfectly cooked fish that flaked away and ate beautifully $38
Milly Hill Lamb Rump + Sheeps Yogurt Cumin, Okra, sprouted Lentils $42. As always we greet okra on the menu with delight. This “English/curried” dish throws back to Chef Darren Templeton’s English lineage is wonderful with a delicious curry note that carried its way across the okra/lentils to the lamb which was perfectly cooked. The cookery on the lamb meant that each bit was a tender succulent mouthful and just fantastic.
Hot Plum Souffle and creame Fraiche Ice Cream, Rich Zokoko chocolate $20
Both Desserts that we opted for at O bar were gorgeous. The Souffle as expected has that finger edging and is perfectly risen as it arrives warm and inflated at our tables. Its a hot plum and richly decadent when comboed with the Creme Fraiche and Zokoko chocolate.
O bar dining was truly fantastic and looking and thinking back over the dinner, we were surprised by the Japanese influences that persisted through much of the dishes we ate. Oliver was just gobsmacked. From entrees to dessert this was a flawless dinner and we can’t quibble with any of it. Its fine dining in the sky with cocktails. Service was on point and its a darkly sensual dining affair too as table spots were intimately dim with a well designed/placed movable light source so you’re not literally dining in the dark. You’ll definitely be in an oasis with your dining companion while the world spins around you.. Oui Chef! A new favourite we hope to return to and often. They also have a more affordable dining available via an early bird special (check the website)
O bar and dining
264 George St Sydney, NSW 2000