When was the last time you went to Luna Park? We are guessing it was a while ago, well WTE was there recently for a business seminar and after a long day of many inspirational speakers we decided to discuss our freshly acquired knowledge over a well deserved drink, as you do.
It was then that we discovered The Deck, a bar and restaurant just inside Luna Park’s notorious smiling face and smack bang right on the harbour. Who knew? Well we certainly didn’t know about this little hidden gem and while enjoying a vino at the bar we also snacked on the most amazing hummus. We consider ourselves hummus connoisseurs and decided if they can make hummus this incredible it’s only fair we return to experience the menu properly.
It just so happens that when we do it is during Vivid and 2018 is the first year that Luna Park is to be involved with the festivities. So not only did we get to experience the fantastic food we also had the most incredible backdrop of the harbour sparkling with the Vivid light show.
Rest assured even the Arteon enjoyed world class views as we managed to snag her the best car space ever. When you dined at The Deck during Vivid you also got free parking but we were feeling benevolent so we gave the freebie to our epic cameraman and friend- Dave.
Back to the restaurant, our table was set right against the glass so we had world class views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The contemporary design of The Deck encompasses one long wall of glass that frames an expanse of harbour so every table here has a great outlook.
On Thursday nights there’s also a DJ by the bar but the acoustics are well managed so patrons dining in the restaurant aren’t affected. Self-described as an eclectic modern Australian menu we note it is quite international with some European and Middle Eastern influences. Given its waterfront location we are also not surprised to see quite a few seafood options and after some deep contemplation we order 2 starters 3 mains and 1 dessert to share.
The Prawn Saganaki was highly recommended by our helpful waiter and as soon as we had our first mouthful it was swiftly awarded a 10 out of 10. The tomato based sauce is full of flavour and we are instantly transported to Santorini, if someone told us it took the chef two days to reduce down the tomato base before adding the prawns we wouldn’t question it. What a dish, hands down a scrumptious starter in fact even as a main this alone would be amazing… especially if served with a chunk of warm crusty bread melting with butter and washed down with a glass of Pinot Noir. You would leave completely, utterly satisfied.
Of course, this was just the humble beginning for us hungry little foodies and next we all dived into the beetroot salad. Pairing fresh beetroot with creamy goats cheese is utter perfection and sitting atop a bed of lentils the flavours are then deepened with a fine sprinkle of dukkah… it is a heavenly combination, Yum. Our only complaint was that we found our three forks fighting over the chunks of cheese- first world problems. We are probably just a bit greedy but more cheese would be a good suggestion if you are sharing this dish with someone.
For mains Margarita chose the duck leg, Dave the steak and Angela the seafood stew. As I’m sure you predicted we ordered the obligatory side chips and Angela opted for a glass of Yering station Chardonnay and Margarita the Catina Riff Pinot Gris. Side note- these guys have a fantastic wine list, but we were driving so didn’t take full advantage. To give you an indication, they have won an award for their selection and with a 2-wine glass rating we say- well done chaps and cheers to that!
Our mains are called and arrive shortly after. The Bandari seafood stew is warm and hearty and not overly spicy. The Blue swimmer crab, rock ling and mussels are coated in the cumin rouilli, which is tasty and not too rich, allowing the subtle seafood flavours to sing. It’s a delightful dish for winter. We’re not overly familiar with Persian food so we can’t say if this is a traditional Iranian fodder but given it’s also served with Barbari (Iranian bread) we assume it very well may be.
The steak is perfectly cooked but its when the dessert arrives that the experience steps up a notch…the Food Gods are stirred, the clouds part and the culinary angels strum gleefully on their harps.
We were advised The Deck Snickers is the house favourite and we can now see why, every element of this dessert is sensational.
The milk chocolate that surrounds the caramel parfait is velvety perfection and the smart sourness of the raspberry coulis is a welcome contrast to the sweetness. As we savour every creamy mouthful suddenly the hidden element of this dish comes to life and our mouths explode with popping candy. Wow! The sweet firecrackers pop and crackle with every spoonful and all of a sudden you are taken back to memories of childhood when your at a friends birthday party, gripping your take home lolly bag and shoving fistfuls of popping candy into your mouth.
It’s good timing because revisiting your cherished younger years is serendipitous when you happen to be at an amusement park! Sometimes the Deck packages up tickets to the Ferris Wheel when you dine during an event and this is the case during Vivid. We head into the park and are ushered onto our carriage of the luminous Ferris Wheel. Sydney with her sparkling harbour and glowing bridge is spread before us looking ever so special and floating above our much loved city is the perfect end to our evening.
Style meets practicality… Jeans and a blazer paired back with your favourite boots. Sure the restaurant lends itself to a LBD and Manolos but we recommend you hit the park before or after dinner, so you want to be comfortable.
BAG by Louis Vuitton
JEANS by J Crew
BOOTS by Tony Bianco
I wanted to wear something warm so that I could easily go and experience all the fun attractions that Luna Park has to offer. So for me it was a black blouse with a high neck, black denim and a red vampy lip just to highlight the wintery atmosphere.