Hello! I’m finally back from my trip to Japan and settling back into Sydney life. I am glad to be back but I must admit I do miss Japan (and all the convenience stores) already! I definitely have a few Japanese posts coming your way but, before that, here’s a post on the Earth Hour dinner I attended as a guest of Altitude Restaurant (you may recall my interview with Altitude chef Matthew McCool, which you can check out here).

I was invited along to the Earth Hour degustation at Altitude restaurant. With their million-dollar view, I was quite keen to check it out and was not disappointed!

Earth Hour has steadily been increasing in popularity in recent years. It’s so great to see people at home as well as businesses and restaurants switching off their lights for an hour on Earth Hour day, and it was good to see Altitude restaurant joining in. In fact, with all the lights switched off with dinner by candlelight it was quite romantic, especially with the view of the city right in front of you!

Check out this awesome view! You’d be hard pressed finding a better view than this in Sydney restaurants!

Super cute pear-shaped candles made especially for Earth Hour.

Candle centrepiece for Earth Hour.

With such a romantic backdrop, it’s no wonder that Altitude sees up to several proposals per WEEK!

Absolute Mockery (strawberries, passionfruit, cranberry juice, fresh lime and mint) $16.

A super refreshing berry mocktail – loved the addition of the passionfruit and lime. They have a great range of mocktails that I’d love to try more of.

Freshly baked bread and butter (house made). All Altitude restaurant’s butter and ricotta is freshly made in house – pretty impressive!

Burrawong Gaian duck — smoked duck with walnuts and compressed apple.

This duck was cooked three ways – smoked, then sous vide, then seared – which gave the meat a fabulously smoky flavour and a melt-in-the-mouth soft texture. I really loved the contrast of the smoky duck with the sweetness of the apple and the crunch of the walnuts which gave it a great texture. Definitely one of my favourite courses of the night!

Brown’s mountain yellow fin tuna (with radish, blood orange and fennel jelly).

I really enjoyed the contrast between the freshness of the sashimi with the sweetness of the fennel jelly – a very interesting combination!

Trout with caramelized yoghurt, anise, bottarga (mine came without the caramelized yoghurt due to my dairy-free request).

This trout fillet was cooked sous vide which made the fish incredibly moist and it matched nicely with the sweetness of the carrot puree, helping to even out the richness of the fish.

Riverina Free Range Lamb with cumin spiced dates. (This lamb comes from Cowra, at the head of the Lachlan Valley which is classed by some as the best fertile valley in the world.)

I really enjoyed this (lamb is a big fave of mine!). The lamb was cooked to perfection and I love the cumin spiced dates which gave the dish a slightly Moroccan feel.

Blue mountains berries with meringue and berry sorbet and a blackcurrent berry anglaise foam.

I really loved this light finish to the meal. Many times I’ve been to a degustation and battle to the last course only to struggle through a heavy final dessert – but this was a pleasant change. I really enjoyed the lovely light textures of the crisp meringue paired with the extra sweet and juicy fresh berries an sorbet – the perfect finish to the meal!

I was on a dairy-free diet at the time, along with my usual dietary requirements (I don’t eat shellfish or pork, or drink alcohol) and so they were happy to arrange a special meal for me quite easily, which is good news for people who require special meals for allergies, etc.

If you’re looking for a romantic restaurant for an anniversary, birthday or any other special occasion that warrants good food and an even better view, I would recommend Altitude restaurant!

Altitude Restaurant, Shangri-la Hotel on Urbanspoon

Christine (cookingcrusade.com) dined at Altitude Restaurant as a guest of Altitude Restaurant.

Altitude Restaurant, Shangri-la Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Hope you all had a wonderful relaxing weekend and a fabulous Mother’s day!