Once the exclusive domain of snap-happy tourists, 360 Bar and Dining has been reborn and relaunched into the local dining scene with a hearty, Italian-style menu brought to life by Ashley Hughes, former owner of Surry Hills’ Alio. On arrival, you can’t help but be blown away by expansive views of a sprawling city that will surprise you with her beauty no matter how well you think you know her. Arrive at dusk to sip an aperitif while sunset colours glint against the harbour and all the way out to the Blue Mountains before melting into the night to make way for the city lights.
The decor overflows with old-school grandeur and a comforting nostalgia that conjures up that time you visited Sydney Tower as a child and were blown away at how the cars looked just like ants. But even as the restaurant (literally) revolves, the staff will encourage you to “pretend we’re just a regular restaurant on the ground”; to forget the gimmicky surroundings (while remembering to keep an eye on that view), and to focus on the simple but dynamic food, the carefully curated wine list and the attentive, personal service.
To do so is easy. Hughes’ commitment to showcasing fresh, sustainable ingredients simply and honestly makes the new menu as impressive as it is charmingly unassuming. Unsurprisingly, the seasonal Alio-style degustation menu is the clear way to go. A highlight of the winter degustation is a scrumptious rotolo of baby spinach, ricotta, porcini mushrooms, aged parmesan, crispy sage and fleshy chestnuts. Also impressive is the roasted rack of lamb, cooked to perfection and carefully balanced with parsnip puree, mixed mushroom ragu and thyme jus. Sweet-toothed diners won’t be disappointed with a dark chocolate tart, sticky and crunchy in all the right places and punctuated with fresh raspberries. A glass of Ramos Pinto 10 year old Quinta da Ervamoira tawny port marks the time for a sigh of satiated contentment at the end of a thoroughly delectable meal.
Also recently relaunched is an inviting bar section, with a sprawling back bar that offers ingenious concoctions perfect for an elegant post-work few. The deliciously girly Scarlet Letter matches Tanqueray gin and elderflower liqueur with hibiscus flower syrup, citrus and vanilla ($19). Or, for a more serious libation, opt for a bacon-infused bourbon, steeped in-house and served neat or enlivened with dark chocolate bitters ($20). An extensive range of by-the-glass wine options, boutique beers and elegant aperitifs and digestives guarantee a tipple for every taste.
360 Bar and Dining has reinvigorated one of the stalwarts of Sydney’s skyline. But as you look out over the city, martini glass in hand, you’ll still be amazed at how the cars really do look just like ants.