Dining out in Sydney is made into an art form at Aria. Set smack bang on harbourfront at Circular Quay, it’s a swanky affair with lots of heavy white linen, round tables and the ever-present views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Owners Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan have worked out a winning formula with this elegant dining room and have nutted out some menu classics that have withstood the test of time. The Peking Duck consommé – with its duck dumplings and shaved abalone – is a longstanding crowd-pleaser, as is the signature confit pork belly entrée, while whimsical desserts like coffee parfait and espresso ice-cream or Valrhona chocolate delice require your full attention (and the subtle unbuttoning of too-tight trousers). This is serious food and an excellent choice for splashing out. If there are more than four of you, try the Kitchen Table experience – an exclusive experience where diners sit in a private viewing area, watching the action happening in the kitchen and sampling an eight-course tasting menu paired with wines.