I’m pretty sure I listened to that ‘Fancy’ song by Iggy Azalea about 5000 times last week. And yes, I know it’s social suicide to admit to enjoying pop music, but whatever. Anyway, after all this fancy listening I was feeling quite in the mood for a swanky night out. So I put on my literal and metaphorical fancy-pants (whilst singing ‘I’m soooo fancyyy’) forced my spunky man-candy to do the same, and set off for the bar in the sky.
After struggling to work out the lift system in the Australia Square building, under the scathing eye of the man sitting at the information desk, we eventually found the miraculous elevator that would whisk us up to the 47th floor where O Bar & Dining is located. As the lift doors opened we were immediately struck by the snazziness, with the seductively lit interiors looking out over the sparkling city; this was certainly the fancy night I had envisioned. It felt like the kind of place celebrities would hang out and I scrutinised every guest in a faux-casual but probably extremely creepy way.
After being greeted and seated by our waitress, we took a moment to sit back and enjoy the spectacular views. The seating is not like a traditional restaurant, but instead has funky lounge seats with low round tables and expensive-looking table lamps. One of the staff in fact confirmed that they cost a whopping $80 each and that people often steal them! I couldn’t imagine any of the sleek professionals surrounding us shoving this large, heavy and conspicuous lamp into their tiny purses, but there you go.
The bar rotates 360 degrees, with great harbour and city views. To add to the general vibe of luxury and beauty, the management seem to have a strict (presumably unofficial) policy of hiring exclusively young, attractive, female wait staff.
However, we quickly learned that our waitress wasn’t just a pretty face, she also had a great knowledge of the bar’s jawdroppingly extensive cocktail list. Based on my vague specifications of ‘something girly but not too sweet’, she recommended the Clover Club ($18) which consisted of Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh raspberries and lemon juice and was absolutely perfect. It was tangy and gently sweet with the flavour of fresh raspberries clearly distinguishable. My companion had The Buffalo Theory ($20) which was the cocktail special made from ‘seasonal market fresh ingredients.’ It was vanilla infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, passion fruit purée, Angostura bitters, fresh mint and ginger beer. He reported that it was delicious, and being an ex bar tender or what the pretentious refer to as a ‘mixologist’, his tick of approval isn’t easy to come by. The rest of the (many pages long!) cocktail list was similarly priced between $18 and $20 which is pretty typical of a high class establishment like O Bar & Dining.
We also shared the Tapas tasting board which was surprisingly reasonably priced at $49 considering the quality and quantity of the food and the stunning views that accompany it.
Clockwise from the left, the tapas board contained; Pork belly and chilli jam steamed buns, Lamb ribs with mint yoghurt, (middle) Parmesan polenta cubes with romesco and walnuts, Seared beef with edamame, elk, soy & ginger sauce and Jamon with crushed broad beans on toasted croutons and olive dust.
My favourite dish was the seared beef with edamame. It had that beautiful simple but sophisticated flavour characteristic of good japanese food. Unsurprisingly, my male companion favoured the meatiest dish on the platter; the lamb ribs, which were so tender that the meat slipped effortlessly off the bone. Our one criticism was that the sauces and dips provided weren’t necessary as the food tasted much better on its own.
The shared Tapas board isn’t really a full meal, but it is a substantial amount of food at an amazingly high quality and I would probably be satisfied by it on a night that I wasn’t very hungry. We both agreed that going to O Bar & Dining for the tapas and a drink is an amazingly economical way to have a truly high class experience and is absolutely perfect for a date night. The entire place just screams class, but in reality you don’t have to be Iggy Azalea or a similarly rich superstar to go there. Although we did notice that the menu strictly stipulates that the minimum spend is $9 per person. We can only imagine there were incidents of stingy couples sharing a beer in order to effectively ‘steal’ the fantastic views and ambiance…
You can also buy individual tapas and there is a full dinner menu which I’d be eager to try next time I’m there.
I would highly recommend O Bar & Dining for one of those nights when you just want to dress up nicely and feel a bit spoiled. Or if you’re in the mood to steal an expensive lamp.
O Bar and Dining
264 George Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9247 9777
Web: O Bar and Dining
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of O Bar