I find myself getting constantly lost in the new Westfields Shopping Centre (there's something quite strangely spiral about the layout or maybe it's my brain that is spiralling). But if I were to give you directions on how to get to 360 Bar & Dining it would be the way I find things-via shop name. So walk past Prada, Miu Miu and Gucci and go up the escalators where there is a reception area on level 4 (even though level 4 is just one level above street level-confusing right?). There you will be handed a card with your name on it and the number of passengers for the elevator ride (in our case, it wasn't correctly filled and this caused a minor kerfuffle) and your bag will then get a bit of a search too from a security guard.
An ear popping ride up to the 85 storeys above and we have arrived at 360 Bar and Dining. operated by the Trippas White Group it sits on the level below the buffet and revolves at a rate of one rotation every 85 minutes. Mr NQN and I had visited for a Ferrero Rondnoir chocolate degustation dinner two years ago for the Crave food festival and this year we are visiting to check out their Crave offering- any 2 courses with matching wine for $90 (normally $85 for 2 courses without wine which is admittedly on the higher end of prices in Sydney).
We first have a cocktail in the cocktail bar which given that I was drinking on an empty stomach may not have been the best idea. The cocktails are potent and my white peach bellini made with sparkling wine is a pretty specimen and before long the whole room is spinning-and I don't mean the slow rotation. One thing that I do wish they had were some nibblies like crackers or nuts because I was only able to finish a third before I started to feel things going around me.
Spicy and heady like a gingerbread man it was described as "Hennessy VSOP cognac, Tia Maria, ginger liqueur and spiced cardamom syrup. Shaken with chunks of fresh muddled ginger and cinnamon sugar."
I need to eat now as my brain is spinning in a multitude of directions and so we take a seat at a table.The bread can't come out fast enough and there's a choice of sourdough and soy and linseed, both nice and fresh (although I do love warm bread) and served with a great butter or olive oil with a sweet vinegar and gratefully, it was replenished.
There's only one way to eat Sydney Rock oysters and that really is to eat them with a Sydney view. And these come with half a lemon and a chardonnay cider and seaweed vinegar which adds a refreshing tangyness to the fresh, iced oysters.
There are two pieces of yellow fin tuna lightly seared on the outside with asparagus spears, small cubes of fried zucchini and tiny sprigs of micro coriander with a lime olive oil dressing with the perfect amount of seasoning. Mr NQN finds the dressing a bit too strong in lime but I love citrus flavours more than he does and I really like it.
Whenever I see John Dory on the menu I order it as it's a fish I enjoy eating because of its buttery and smooth texture. From Port Macquarie the John Dory comes as a generous serve of three fillet pieces with skin on simply cooked and served with a fantastic sweet corn and basil risotto which is light and creamy and again well seasoned.
The beef brisket is a rectangular piece of confit brisket soft with a soft layer of melting fat on top with some silky smooth creamed parsnip that tastes of lovely sweet, pure cream and a grilled baby leek to give the dish an additional savouriness. The beef is so, tender and melting soft.
The fries with rosemary salt have a wonderfully fluffy interior and a crispy, dark bronzed outer and a rosemary salt that doesn't go overboard with the rosemary flavour.
There's no dessert-well for the 2 course for $90 you can certainly order it separately but a misjudging of time and parking tickets occurred tonight (we should have just taken them up on their $11 parking rate and shopped all day and then dined and not had to worried about parking) so we must skeddadle without filling our stomachs with sweeties. Please don't throw ripe fruit, I know how disappointed you are when I don't order dessert but next time I promise we will!
So tell me Dear Reader, is there a dish that you always have to order if you see it on the menu? And what's your favourite restaurant with a view?
360 Bar & Dining
100 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 (02)8223 3883
The Crave dining deal (two courses for $90 with two glasses of wine) is one during October 2011