If you go down to Barangaroo today, you're in for a big surprise. Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt — the legends behind Bentley, Monopole and Yellow — will be opening the doors of their latest restaurant, Cirrus. Yes, it's named after a cloud and it's dishing up super-fresh, sustainable seafood.
The menu is made for sharing. Among the first offerings are Moreton Bay bugs with house-made XO, mud crab from the Northern Territory with green garlic and tarragon and the epic Cirrus platter, crowded with oysters, Skull Island prawns, cobia and honey bugs. On top of all that fish, you'll find a good selection of meaty dishes and, as is always the case with the Bentley folk, no shortage of vegetarian deliciousness.
"We've been working for almost a year on the menu and it has changed and morphed along the way," said Savage, who has won SMH Good Food Guide Chef of the Year twice. "It is great for sharing and I really want people to treat it this way, so they try all types of seafood in the one meal." He recommends kicking off with oysters and moving onto starters before tucking into shellfish and a whole fish main.
Sommelier Hildebrandt has put together the wine list, which specialises in seafood-friendly whites, from sparkling and Chablis to Semillon and Chenin. Hildebrandt has his palate glued to a stream of new releases and left-of-field drops created by small producers, so you can always count on something interesting.
On sunny days, you'll want to nab one of the 40 outdoor seats, overlooking the harbour. There's another 100 inside, beautifully arranged by designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb, and surrounding timber tables dashed with marble and gold. She's also added a good polish to the concrete floor, brought in a 20-seater steel bar and built a spectacular wine wall. Look up and you'll see yet another Bentley signature ceiling, this time featuring hundreds of hanging rods and a flying vintage speed boat, Alvin.
"We want Cirrus to be a fun place, loud, energetic and busy with an emphasis, of course, on good quality food and drinks that you would come back for again and again," says Hildebrandt.
You'll find Cirrus in The Streets of Barangaroo, inside the cloud-shaped Andara building where Noma Australia used to be. It's open seven days a week for lunch from 12pm and dinner from 6pm. More info at Cirrus's website.