Shangri-La Hotel
176 Cumberland St
The Rocks, Sydney

What can we say - there is such a wow factor here. Altitude Restaurant on level 36 of the Shangri-La has multi-million dollar views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. 

The minute you walk in the door the view hits you. City lights sparkle brilliantly below.

We were having the degustation designed by newish Chef de Cuisine Matthew McCool. It was all so impressive. 

Our amuse-bouche was a single oyster each. They arrived beautifully presented on pebbles and dry ice with a whisp of vapour floating up.

The oysters were lovely. Their fresh delicate flavour was a great start to the night and a lovely way to get our appetites going.

The salmon looked amazing and smelled just as good. Fortunately the taste also lived up to this wonderful expectation as well. It came with horseradish, watercress and pancetta soil and looked like a work of art. The combinations went beautifully. 

This was nicely paired by John our sommelier with a 2011 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling from  Frankland River in Western Australia and a lovely glass of Tattinger.

We then moved on to the delicious 9+ wagyu tongue (yes tongue but you'd never know it) with  caviar, cuttlefish, crab and ponzu. The meat just melted in our mouths and the crab actually went perfectly.

A few edible flowers added visual appeal as well as variation. It worked so well.

This was excellently paired with a lovely drop from Chateau Riotor (France) and a Domaine Comte Abbatucci Gris Imperial.

The swordfish was impressive. Perfectly cooked, it came with a unique dehydrated coconut oil, corn and curry.

The fish fell apart nicely. It was a generous serving and was one of Mlady's favourites of the night.

This dish was paired with a delightful 2011 Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay from New Zealand.

Then we had what was probably my favourite dish of the night.

The venison came served with walnut and bitter chocolate. It was an unusual combination that again worked so well.

It was perfectly matched with a 2008 Alpha Box & Dice ‘Blood of Jupiter’ Sangiovese/Cabernet from  McLaren Vale in South Australia.

The refresher of lemon sorbet with Szechuan lived up to its objective. It was such a refreshing addition arriving just before our main courses.

For my main course I had the Riverina lamb with smoked Persian fetta, blackberry, almond and quinoa.

The lamb was perfectly cooked - as was everything for this dinner - and the fruity blackberry offset the rich lamb so beautifully.

This was paired with a 2008 County Line Syrah from Russian River Valley in California.

Mlady isn't a pork or lamb eater so Altitude arranged a replacement main course. This is something that they will do for all their customers too!

She had the Barramundi which was served with chicken powder, mussel broth, seaweed gel and mushroom.

The fish was again perfectly cooked.

It looked impressive with a very wide array of colours and textures that helped give the dish a wow factor as soon as it arrived at the table.

We then had the optional cheese plate which came with muscatels, fresh honeycomb and a side of sourdough. Such a lovely combination that was also another great palate freshener.

The first of our desserts was an apple and passionfruit combination.

It was a great layering of apple gel with fresh passionfruit pulp and  topped with a light fruity apple foam.

This was more than just a dessert. It was a palate refresher as well.

We both loved this dish as it was so simple and yet so full of flavour. 
We then moved on to the first chocolate part of our finale. It was described as milk chocolate, beurre noisette, milk ice cream, yoghurt and hazelnut. It was indulgently delicious.

It came paired with a rich Stanton & Killeen Classic Muscat from Rutherglen in Victoria. This winery is one of our favourites for dessert wines too! The second chocolate finale was a plate of petit fours made up of shortbread, marshmallow, brownies and truffles. They were sooo good!

Altitude is an amazing place. It is fine dining at its best. You have some of the best views in Sydney here and some of the best food and service to match it. It's not cheap but it's a special occasion venue that will still easily surpass your expectations.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Altitude Restaurant and the Shangri-La. Special thanks to Jessica Somers-Haggie for arranging our visit. Also thanks to John, our very proficient sommelier, and to Renee for looking after us on the night.

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