Views! When you first take the elevator to the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel and walk into the super stylish Altitude Restaurant that is the first thought, and quite likely the first word, you will utter (and perhaps even repeat for some time). Through five-metre-high floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the restaurant shows off a one-of-a-kind Sydney cityscape, so you'd better prepare to dine with the Harbour Bridge, Opera House. The restaurant itself is styled in light cream colours, with clean lines and intricate glass chandeliers lending subtle regality.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The menu is sophisticated and contemporary. Chef de Cuisine Matthew McCool. has created an inspirational Modern Australian menu with European influences. In addition to a superb a-la-carte menu, McCool has designed a seven course degustation to reflect the finest local and international flavours. Altitude also boasts an impressive wine list featuring Australian and international drops. 90% of the wines from a list of over 260 are from Australia and New Zealand, and the remaining include some of the best and rare Old World drops, representing good value and a unique selection.
PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Enjoy the journey not the destination – and this saying certainly rings true when the journey involves the five-star Shangri-La hotel in Sydney. Awarded the 2012 "Best Hotel in Australasia" in the Ultratravel100 Awards, this award-winning hotel, gives new meaning to the word luxury. Doormen at every entrance, polished marble floors, dress codes, dazzling chandeliers – these are but a few of the highlights involved in the dining experience at Shangri-La's Altitude Restaurant.
Even at 6pm on a weeknight, Level 36 is in full swing. Tourists, hotel guests and corporates gather at Blu Bar, located just next door to Altitude, for a cocktail overlooking some of Australia's most iconic attractions – Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and Sydney Harbour. Take a sharp right turn, however, and you will find yourself in the plush surrounds of the Altitude dining room.
Breathtaking, awe-inspiring, beautiful, dazzling, magnificent. You can throw around every superlative in the Oxford dictionary and it still won't convey the view from a table at Altitude. My dining guest and I are escorted to an intimate table, perched beside the restaurant's famous five-metre high floor-to-ceiling windows. Not for the feint hearted, my dear friend is quite nervous by the sheer drop but it is a small price to pay to experience one of the best views in Sydney.
You rarely find a decent chef behind the pots and pans at hotels, even eminent ones like the Shangri-La. At Altitude, however, things are different. Chef de Cuisine Matthew McCool. has created a contemporary menu of Australian and European influences. For the die-hard foodie, the seven-course epicurious menu comes highly recommended however the a la carte selection is equally as impressive. An amuse bouche of white asparagus, artichoke and watercress oil, complimentary of the chef, sets the lavish-scene of the evening. It is no secret that I detest soups of any sort however the depth of flavour contained in this gloriously viscous amuse bouche is the masterwork of a refined and experienced team. A half/half order of freshly shucked Sydney rock and Pacific oysters, coupled with a glammed-up version of a nicoise salad, featuring cured yellow fin tuna, pickled white asparagus and quail eggs is a tasteful reminder of the quality of Australian seafood. A dish of crispy skin John Dory with steamed mussels, braised beetroot, blood orange and fennel is not only visually stunning but also a palate pleaser however it is the dessert that steals my heart. The caramelised banana, banoffee mousse, peanut brittle and vanilla ice cream embodies what I can only imagine is the Shangri-La philosophy – luxury and decadence. The crunchy shards of peanut brittle and the sponginess of the banana work harmoniously with the sweet-as-banoffee-pie mousse and vanilla ice cream. For lovers of subtle desserts, try the butter poached pear, but if you're partial to caramel, then the banana and peanut brittle is a must-order.