Valentine’s Day dinner with Sydney’s Balla restaurant at The Star
Described as the Italian jewel of The Star‘s signature dining options, Balla takes a modern interpretation on tradition Italian cuisine, and teams it with amazing harbour views and exceptional service, the outcome is a dining experience you won’t quickly forget.
The restaurant, which has already won a plethora of awards in the few years it has been open, delivers truly fantastic, authentic Italian cuisine and partners it with an outstanding wine list.
Balla’s great service starts from when you first set foot in the restaurant and are greeted cheerfully by the staff, and follows through to the detailed and knowledgeable explanations of the Italian wines. Add to it the whim and fancy of heading to a venue that has especially put on an out-of-your-mind wonderfully curated five-course menu for numerous groups of loved-up twos, you know it’s going to be good.
It’s meticulous, almost too beautiful to eat, except it’s delicious so you’ll only be able to fawn over its beauty shortly before you tuck in.
Our dining experience began with Scampi & Caviar, which was New Zealand scampi tartare and caviar with crispy focaccia, followed-by a decadent Acquerello carnaroli with calamari, green pea and squid ink powder. There’s something about tartare that even the most staunch non-raw-meat-eater might turn for a brief moment in time to experience. It’s fresh, well-made, equal parts crunchy-to-soft and peppered with salty explosions from the caviar; words really fail.
Most people are typically full after two smatterings of some of the best Balla has to offer, but capitalising on the fact it was a once-off menu for the special day of love, what was to come was even more outstanding.
Making way for Kingfish baby beans and Ligurian olives salad, lemon burrata, the beauty of the menu at Balla is that its sumptuous endeavours are only half the remit of the restaurant’s stunning offering. Backed-up with a a tender enough veal fillet to knock the moralistic shoes off any veal-hater, theVeal fillet wrapped in prosciutto and sage with porcini mushrooms takes the main course at Balla for their romantic Valentine’s Day offering to the penultimate crescendo of gastronomic salivation.
However, what’s a dinner without a little dolce to top it all off?
Not a dinner at all; that’s right. So when Balla want to throw a dessert like a delicately sweet Vanilla Semifreddo with raspberry heart and dark Tuscan chocolate at, you say yes. If ever you’ve had semifreddo, it’s a soft, sweet icecream basically, which the Balla masterminds in this case, decided would benefit from the contrastingly sensational richness of a dark raspberry tart with Italian chocolate to really cut through the cool and add a more full-bodied in-mouth experience. A definite winner.
Yes this was a once-off menu, but going by the pricing for a dinner of this romantic and above-average magnitude, you could safely back it in that $139pp or $195 for the full 5 course menu with bubbles on arrival with wines is a good evening, well-spent.
The next time friends are visiting Sydney and you want to take them out for lunch or dinner (they do both!) and drinks and wow them with a view, or perhaps you want to get in the good books with your partner and treat them to an indulgent date, Balla is the way to go.
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