They say that the reason aeroplane food tastes so bad is because our tastebuds decrease by 30% when we’re in higher altitudes. Whether or not this is true, it’s pretty clear that 47 stories won't spoil any flavour, because the mouth-watering food and drink at O Bar and Dining is simply incomparable to that ‘beef(?) lasagna’ you got on your last flight OS.
Just off George Street in the Australia Post building and up an ear-popping 47 floors, you’ll enter this sleek bar with a breathtaking 360 degree, sky-high view of Sydney, modern menu and charming cocktails to match. The circular space comprises a restaurant, bar, private dining area and brand new tapas lounge complete with comfy armchairs for you to gaze out the window at the spectacular blinking lights below.
Chef and owner Michael Moore, whose cooking career has spanned over 26 years both in London and Australia, redeveloped this prime real estate from an 80s buffet restaurant to this contemporary and sophisticated social hub in the sky. Moore is passionate about promoting a healthy eating philosophy, so your arteries can take comfort in the fact that you’ll find a lot of superfoods (quinoa, agave, chia) substituted for the naughtier ingredients throughout the menus.
The four-page cocktail menu will wet any palate, featuring modern, classic and vintage drinks made with fresh and local ingredients. The mandarin and orange blossom mojito ($19) is a popular pick, bursting with real mandarin juice and with that refreshingly minty mojito kick. There’s a long and winding wine menu plus bubbly for any occasion, from the cheaper date-night bubbles like the Janz cuvee brut ($69 a bottle) to the ‘will-you-marry-me’ Dom Perignon ($375 a bottle). With a view like this, we're sure the latter is a frequent occurrence.
The tapas menu is a strange cultural blend, with influences from Spanish tapas plates, Turkish mezze and Asian yum cha dishes. But the global list does mean there’s definitely something to suit everyone’s taste. The freshly shucked oysters ($18 for four) will turn any oyster-fence sitter; the light garnish of lime and coriander pairs perfectly with the crunch of fried onion on top. The buttermilk ‘yamba’ prawns ($28) are crusted in quinoa and chilli and just melt in your mouth. But the must-eat are the fragrant braised duck rolls ($18). If you can believe there’s such a thing as 5-star spring rolls, these are them. Rich duck meat and cucumber all wrapped up in a crunchy fried pastry and an anise and ginger dipping sauce to accompany.
The restaurant menu is also available in the tapas lounge, which means something sweet is on the cards too. Our pick is the hot chocolate souffle ($20), with raw cocoa sauce and a refreshing caramel agave icecream to complement.
O Bar is the perfect bar to impress a date, client or visiting friend and with attentive service, first class food and drink, this is one high that will be hard to come down from.
Photo: Leigh Griffiths