Matt Moran's new Barangaroo restaurant opens in December -- and has ants on the menu

Asparagus and tyrant ants at Bea. Source: supplied

Aria chef Matt Moran’s latest venture for the Solotel Group, the three-level bar and restaurant Barangaroo House on Sydney Harbour, will open on December 16.

Headlining the show is the mid-level 180 seat restaurant, Bea, where Moran has installed former Vue de monde head chef Cory Campbell as his point man with a menu scattered with native Australian ingredients, including ants.

Campbell says he’s created dishes that work as both three-course meal and as shared plates, as well as a “feed me” menu where the kitchen tests new ingredients and ideas on diners. No doubt his time at the world’s former No. 1 restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen, also influences his approach.

“It’s all about fun dining rather than fine dining,” Campbell says.

Flathead and herbs at Bea. Source: supplied

The menu ranges from a reworked steak tartare to kingfish rolled in burnt leek ash, with an oyster emulsion; Tomato with rock melon and native tea and eye fillet steak with dried native fruits and black radish.

He’s also serving tyrant ants with asparagus, while they’ve already built a signature dessert using chocolate discs and chocolate mouse that pays homage to the striking building they’re based in.

The restaurant space features tallwood floors and wood and leather-topped tables, while the cutlery has been designed for the restaurant, along with the ceramic plates by Robert Gordon.

Meanwhile, sommelier John Paul Wilkinson says he’s put together an accessible list that’s mixing global with legendary Australian producers, wines from smaller regions, new wave producers and biodynamic and natural wines.

And of course if you fancy a drink, Smoke, the bar, is upstairs.

Bookings for Bea are now open online at Barangaroo House.

Tomato, rock melon, and native tea at Bea. Source: supplied

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