"It's time for a change," says Matt Moran. The Sydney chef is talking about the menu at his 15-year-old Sydney flagship, Aria, which, as of today, is being relaunched in a fresh new format.
"We're going to have four courses [to choose from] instead of three," he says. "It's all about giving the customer more choice."
Moran and Aria head chef Ben Turner have been working on the revamp for three months now, with the hope of putting the restaurant back in the spotlight. Gone are the old dishes, including the Aria classics (the Peking duck consommé, the pork belly), replaced instead with a string of dishes that put top-quality produce front and centre. Among them are wagyu rump cap with roast carrots, mustard greens and XO sauce; buttermilk-poached kipfler potatoes with brioche, roast onions and shaved truffle; and grilled marinated palm heart with white beetroot, milk curd and quinoa.
"We've refined it a little bit but really it's all about the produce," says Moran. "Doing Paddock to Plate all of last year and again this year I met these amazing producers. We're using that product, we're bringing it back into the kitchen and we're creating dishes with it."
Menu pricings start at $105 for two courses and go up to $175 for seven courses.
Aria, 1 Macquarie St, Sydney, (02) 9240 2255, ariarestaurant.com