Talk about big shoes to fill. First it was Noma's Sydney home. Now, on the same waterfront site at Barangaroo, comes Cirrus. The fourth establishment from Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, the names behind Bentley, Monopole and Yellow, it's a step in a new direction. The focus is seafood but, says Savage, it's also about new flavours.
"The type of cooking we're doing at Cirrus is very different to our other restaurants," the chef says. "The palate is much broader. We're using native ingredients, but there's also umami and Asian undertones."
The inspiration behind the restaurant's name is the (broadly) cloud-shaped Anadara building in which it's located. The interior designed by Pascale Gomes-McNabb, Savage and Hildebrandt's collaborator on Bentley, Yellow and Monopole, is warmer and more eclectic than the Noma fit-out.
"Pascale still has quite a few tricks up her sleeve," says Savage. "There are some weird and wacky elements, including a vintage speedboat hanging from the ceiling."
Join us and be among the first to savour this new direction. The menu kicks off with a platter of oysters, marinated prawns and cured cobia, followed by raw kingfish in yuzu. Whole snapper in a native-pepper sauce, to share between two, is steamed then baked and served with crisp fried warrigal greens, saltbush, basil and mint. Rounding out the meal is a chocolate cake layered with orange jelly, orange marmalade and wattle cream. "Wattle has a real depth about it," says Savage, "like coffee, so it works really well with the chocolate."
Hildebrandt is recognised as one of the top sommeliers in the country (and Gourmet Traveller's 2015 Sommelier of the Year), so you can count on the wine side of things being as exciting as the food.
Read our interview with Savage and Hildebrandt about the Cirrus menu and design inspiration here.
Comparisons with the site's previous tenant, Savage says, aren't something to which he and the team have given much thought. "Cirrus is about having delicious, sustainable seafood in a casual setting. Noma was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; we're hoping that people want to, and can, come back to Cirrus again and again." We're there.
Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 24 October at Cirrus, 23 Barangaroo Ave, Sydney, NSW. The cost of $140 includes four courses and matched wines, and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (02) 8214 0505. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au