Now though, Aria has a new set menu lunch on offer, with two courses plus wine at $59, or three courses plus wine at $79. For a top quality meal, these are some very, very good prices.
Do you still get the whole Aria experience though along with your change? Let's find out.
Here, the service quick and friendly, and sitting right on the riverfront in Eagle St Pier is a lovely place to be at any time of the day. There is also some pretty amazing food and wine to be had.
Each month the set lunch menu changes, based around a different theme. In April, it's all about the Italian Renaissance.
We started with:
- Prawn and Squid Ink Cracker Topped with Chickpea Pureé
- Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, Shaved Fennel, Toasted Pine Nuts, Raisins and Capers + 2013 Podere il Saliceo, Lambrusco (Modena, Italy)
The amuse-bouche was lightly salty and had a great range of textures happening on the little wooden board. It was a tasty and creative way to get the appetite going.
The mozzarella was light and fluffy and was like biting into a creamy, creamy cloud. The sweetness of the raisins and the subtle aniseed of the fennel was perfect to take this cheese to the next level.
I was truly interested to taste the lambrusco, because the last time I had this type of wine, I was carrying a bag full of textbooks and the wine flowed from a cask. While that isn't a pleasant food memory, I'm pleased to report that my opinion of the old lambrusco has now dramatically changed.
The Podere il Saliceo was a very light red wine, with a hint of peach and ripe berries. It went superbly with the delicate tastes of the mozzarella.
- Grilled Tuna and Broccolini with Green Olive and Mustard Dressing + 2013 Terrdonda, Grillo (Sicily, Italy)
- Slow Cooked Wagyu Neck with Soft White Polenta and Nettles + 2013 Tenuta Roccaccia Rossa (Sovana, Italy)
I personally opted for the tuna, though I was told on good authority by fellow foodies that the Wagyu was outstanding.
Rather than serving up the usual yellowfin tuna, Aria has opted for a local Mooloolaba albacore tuna, which is the type you usually find in a tin. Rather than having a raw pink inside, this tuna has white meat all the way through, and is actually a fantastic choice for those who like fish but aren't so keen on the raw stuff.
I'm the kind of person who likes my sashimi still swimming and I still loved this dish. The fish was beautifully seared on the outside and moist and tasty on the inside. The olives and mustard were a great slightly hot and salty pairing.
Aria imports its own wine, meaning that we got some great unique pairings with lunch. The two wine options for the mains were lighter, lunch-time wines, that were intended to spark conversation rather than give you something to mull over. They did just that.
The Terrdonda Grillo was lovely and had a great acidity that cut through the stone fruit tastes.
- Lemon Cannoli with Pistacio and Caramelised Rhubarb
- Petits Fours of chocolate truffles, pineapple marshmallows and almond tulle
We were also given a sneaky glass of La Tordera Prosecco with dessert, which was again a lovely light drinking option that worked better at lunch than a heavier sticky dessert wine.
The lemon curd in the cannoli was truly decadent, and was lifted nicely by the rhubarb and cherry sorbet it was served with. There was also a gingerbread crumble under the sorbet which added some great texture.
While I was quite full by this stage, I could go past the petit fours which were perfectly made little treats with coffee. I opted for a macchiato which was layered perfectly.
Bypassing the sandwich shop has never been an easier decision.