Dinner with a View and a Few Crazy Aussies

While I was in Sydney recently, I was fortunate to have my Christmas dinner at the gorgeous Altitude restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel.

The setting was atmospheric with views of the famous Harbor Bridge and Opera House. The meal was excellent, if not a little pricey. But when will I ever be back in Sydney? A 4 course meal for one was about $200 US.

Before the meal, my husband and I had a drink in the bar and met a fun loving couple, Tom and Victoria. They were on vacation in Sydney from a small Aussie town a few hours away.

They were also completely hammered when they arrived.

That’s why I’m wearing this Santa hat. They spotted us and immediately forced the hats on, which is practically the dress code around here during this time of year.

We had drinks and talked and laughed with them. A few times other guests looked over to us with furrowed brows, which probably meant we were being too rowdy, but I can’t be sure. In any case, when time came to be seated for our meal, it was hard to disengage from our new friends.

We left Tom and Victoria in the bar while we ate dinner, but we heard them creating havoc all through our meal. At one point, they even burst into the dining room, and Victoria waltzed around between tables with one of the dinner patrons!

We started with a warm salad of greens, tuna flakes and scallops wrapped in crispy pork belly. They offered a choice of homemade breads (not pictured) with Australian whipped butter sprinkled with flecks of pink sea salt. (I love when they do the butter and sea salt trick)

The next course was chicken stuffed with foie gras.

Then Australian lamb with the most wonderful tart tasting tomato. I know it’s weird to be raving about tomato and not lamb (which was also very good), but still.

They placed a bowl of the freshest sweetest summer berries with cream in front me. Given the Christmas season, summer berries struck me as odd at first, and then I remembered that here it IS summer. Then it made perfect sense.

Then we had two desserts: Christmas pudding (which tasted a bit like fruitcake, but moist and delicious and not horrible at all) and white pears with a semifreddo.

At the end, they brought us a plate adorned with bite sized sweets. I love this trend of just one more little surprise before the meal is officially over.

The meal was so wonderful and the setting so dreamy that we stretched out our time there forever. On this night we lingered for about 3 hours, long enough to see the sun set and the colors change outside the windows.


Needless to say after this dinner,  we resorted to cheaper grub during our trip. But overall the Altitude restaurant was special and memorable, and otherwise we would have never met crazy Tom and Victoria.

What’s the most expensive meal you’ve ever had? Was it worth it?


9 thoughts on “Dinner with a View and a Few Crazy Aussies

  1. I love the desserts! So glad you had an enjoyable time at Altitude. The view of Sydney is really something from up there! 🙂

    As for the most expensive meal, it’s a toss up between dinner at La Tour d’Argent in Paris and lunch at Paul Bocuse in Lyon (when you factor in we travelled by TGV train from Paris to Lyon and back in a day). Both experiences were unforgettable!

  2. That hat is so cute! I love memorable, raucous dining experiences, which I tend to have a lot of. THe most expensive meal I’ve ever had was at a gourmet Japanese fusion restaurant overlooking the Chicago River. My husband loves Japanese food and the decor and food was exisite, worth the over $200 price tag.

  3. The price is a little much for me, but it looks so good. I couldn’t resist it. The view there is amazing. The most expensive meal I’ve ever had was at a fancy French restaurant. It cost a little over $100, but it tasted really good. Plus, it was the first time I got to try frog’s legs. It was worth it.

  4. That food looks so yummy! And what an incredible view. I think the most expensive meal I’ve had was at Cafe Soriah in Eugene with my wife for our anniversary. It was $150.

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