My Melbourne friend Alex comes to Sydney once a month for work. Typically, we go somewhere nice for dinner. This month, he says, “I want a seafood dinner by the water.” Like a genie I grant his wish, booking us a table at Barangaroo’s Cirrus – one of Sydney’s best seafood restaurants.
From the award-winning twosome behind Sydney’s much-lauded restaurants Monopole, Bentley and Yellow, it’s no surprise that Cirrus is a solid A. Only a year old, Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt has delivered an elegant inside-outside restaurant that’s right at home in the shiny new Barangaroo harbourside precinct.
Once you find the door (don’t laugh), you’re greeted by a seriously sleek, curvy space. There’s timber, marble and gold finishings; a polished concrete floor; ample glassed windows; one rather large bar; and a jungle of suspended timber poles. Oh, and there’s also a speedboat (called Alvin) suspended from the roof, just in case you forget you’re in a seafood restaurant.
Rub the lamp and a seafood feast appears
The ‘relaxed fine dining’ menu is designed to be shared and features an assortment of ‘sustainable’ seafood; from caviar and lobster to flathead and ocean trout parfait. Alex started to eye off the rib eye, to which I nearly de-friended him. You don’t insist I organise a seafood feast by the harbour and then order steak!
He retracted and we started with the Cirrus platter of oysters, tiger prawns, kingfish, scallop tartare and pickled mussels. Moving onto the barramundi and beetroot salad. Just like Monopole, the portions are small and the bill adds up quickly, but you absolutely can’t fault what’s on the plate.
After mains, we were still hungry, which meant dessert was inevitable. The olive oil cake with salted caramel and candid sorghum was being a flirt from the dessert menu, but we refused to share, so ordered one each, along with the matching dessert wine. The cake, paired with the sticky, was out of this world – which teaches you never to share.
Cirrus’s wine list, in its little leather pouch, is also incredible – incredibly comprehensive, broken down by region and varietal. No surprise, with sommelier Hildebrandt at the rudder. We thought we’d leave the Pol Roger for next time and threw down a bottle of Unico Zelo pinot gris from the Adelaide Hills instead (South Australian wine snob raise your hand).
Exxy. With our bill coming to $320, it was probably a little extravagant for a Wednesday night. For once, I pray to Genie the husband doesn’t read this post or look at the credit card statement. No doubt, the Barangaroo corporate crowd wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
Apart from the coin you’ll spend here, the only other downside is that you have to walk a block to the bathroom. This means you might end up peeing your pants, because who wants to go outside when there’s marron on the table. It’s a major first world problem.
Overall, Cirrus is an elegant culinary experience. If the sun is shining, try and bribe a table in the outside area overlooking Darling Harbour – it’s something special.
Cirrus | 10/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9220 0111