360 Bar and Dining
- Date Visited: 20th of July, 2017
- Order: 3 courses – Entree Quail, Main Lamb, Dessert Panna Cotta
- Final bill: $95 AUD
Situated on the top of Sydney Tower, 360 Bar and Dining offers an exquisite view of Sydney’s skyline. There is a bit of process checking into Sydney Tower which requires you to check in on level 4 and go through a security check before accessing the lift. During the peak period, you can expect up to 20 minutes wait time from the point of check-in on level 4 to being seated at the restaurant.
Upon entering 360 Bar and Dining, you are in a low light which is lit up by chandeliers offering the classic egg-yellow.
The noise level is as you would expect in a fine dining restaurant with the clinking of glasses and cutlery. There is definitely an audible level of conversations and low music playing in the background, this time around some funky jazz.
Overall, the ambiance of the venue offers a high-end restaurant with a romantic feel with an amazing view to offer.
There was definitely no lack of waiting staff members available. There were three different waiting staff who serviced throughout the night, this included the maître d, server, and busser. All professionally dressed and always presented with a smile and offering assistance throughout the night.
The table was always kept clean after each course and we were regularly checked up by the maître d about our satisfaction after each meal. The food was brought to the table upon completion of each course without delay. In addition to bringing out each course, the server also provided a quick description of the course itself which was a nice personal touch to the service.
Although there were definitely merit in the service at 360 Bar and Dining, I did find that having the maître d changing a few times throughout the night was a bit uncomfortable. Additionally, during the main course, the dish was brought out to the table whilst I was in the restroom. I would have thought the waiting staff would have kept an eye on my status and let the kitchen know that I was away from the table and to hold back the expedite of my food.
Other than that, the staff was friendly and the service provided a good experience.
The plates were very basic yet elegant offering simplistic pattern and mostly one colour scheme. The utensils definitely had wear and tear scuff marks on them which seemed a bit under polished for a fine dining restaurant. As for the food, the majority of the food plating was nicely plated with a few exceptions where it was either not centred properly or required a bit of cleanup to remove unnecessary specs of the ingredient.
As for the food, the majority of the food plating was nicely plated with a few exceptions where it was either not centred properly or required a bit of cleanup to remove unnecessary specs of the ingredient. There were definitely a variety of colours on the plate with seasonal vegetables and produce.
Starting with the entree: roasted quail breast, quail egg, baby beetroot, goat’s curd, semolina gnocchi. The quail had a crispy crust which you would think that it was deep fried rather than oven baked. Although the meat was still tender, I did feel that it was a bit dry and to an extent, it was also a bit bland and even the sauce could not help much. I felt the beetroot and gnocchi did not do much for the plate either and did not add any extra flavour, instead felt a bit awkward sitting along with the rest of the ensemble. The quail egg, however, was absolutely stunning, fresh and had a nice runny yoke which was lusciously creamy. Perhaps I should have taken the advice and got the duck egg entree instead!
For mains, I ordered oven-roasted lamb rack, smoked eggplant, savoy cabbage, piperade, toasted seeds. I was expecting a nice crispy coating on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside as I ordered rare to avoid getting it over cooked. However, what came out was a bit short of my expectations. The crust was seasoned fairly well and I did not need to add too much salt to get it to my personal taste. It was lacking a bit of crisp and when cut through inside, I can see it was cooked medium rare which was more than what I have ordered. The meat still had juice in it, almost on the edge of drying out. What about the other ingredients on the plate? I felt like they did not synthesize very well with the meat. The savoy cabbage was nice but did not feel like it belonged on this plate, similar with the smoked eggplant. I did like the piperade which gave a nice peppery taste and the toasted seeds added a nice crunch which was lacking from the crust of the lamb.
Lastly, the desert. absolutely blew me away. With the panna cotta alone made up for the disappointment from my main. I was very excited from the moment I read from the menu; milk panna cotta, coffee sponge, espresso syrup, coffee anglaise, white chocolate. The panna cotta had a very thick creamy consistency and amazingly held together through every scoop without breaking apart. The sweetness of the milk and white chocolate contrasted extremely well to the coffee sponge and expresso syrup giving a very coherent burst of flavours in your mouth. Nothing was too over powering and it was balanced just right.
Let’s keep this real, the majority of the money you are paying for your meal is to be in Sydney Tower and having an absolutely amazing view. Luckily for me, I was seated with a window view table which justifies the cost over the poor performance of the main. If however, I was seated in the higher level away from the window, then the cost would have outway the experience and therefore there would have been less value in the price point. For the experience, I had on the night and the quality of food I experienced, definitely not worth the $95 AUD which I have paid. If this was not for the Sydney Tower and the view, I would only want to pay $65 – $70 AUD top for the dishes served.
Note, this is the second time that I have been to 360 Bar and Dining and since the menu is changed per season, it is hard to recommend what items on the menu you should try. However, it is a bit concerning that the consistency is not there as the first experience I had at 360 Bar and Dining was amazing, leaving a very good note in my taste bud wanting to come back for more. Perhaps I was just unlucky that night and ordered the wrong thing!
Would I go back here again? Maybe, but only if I had nowhere better to go and need a fine dining venue for a special occasion. I would not casually eat here as you could definitely find something better else where for better value. As an experience and place to take someone who has never been to Sydney Tower, then I say yes. However, I would even consider the Sydney Tower buffet as it provides more consistency in quality of food and is more of an environment where you can talk amongst yourself and not be too caught up in fine dining etiquette.