Whoever thought of turning the Ferris wheel in Sydney’s iconic Luna Park into a restaurant is a genius. It’s the perfect combination of fine dining, incredible views and romantic frivolity.
There’s something about the sight of a Ferris wheel that brings a smile to your face… unless you’re afraid of heights I suppose. But the idea of having a romantic meal while you’re going round on a big wheel 40m above the ground is absolutely fantastic.
And when you couple that with some of the most scintillating views Sydney has to offer, it’s only going to be a great night.
We decided to catch the ferry over to Milsons Point, which is always the perfect way to start a night of romance and indulgence. The warm afternoon air on our faces and the gentle chop of the waves on the ferry’s hull was so soothing not even the terror of Luna Park’s ‘smiling’ face guarding the entrance had its usual effect!
Dinner with a view – Luna Park Ferris wheel dining
The experience begins in The Deck – Luna Park’s top bar and restaurant. With expansive views out over the harbour, this isn’t a bad start. Especially when it comes with a glass of chilled champagne and a delicious amuse bouche of smoked salmon, caviar and beetroot purée.
When our boarding number’s called, we’re ushered to our awaiting private carriage, which has been decked out especially for the evening.
White tablecloths, comfortable seats, silverware and a candle greet us. Our first course is served as we board – a shared entrée platter of fresh natural Sydney rock oysters, foie gras and toasted brioche, a wild mushroom, goat curd and white truffle tartlet, and a stack of shredded crab meat.
I’m not all that impressed with the foie gras or the crab, but the tartlet is great and the oysters are plump and creamy, and are perfectly shucked.
We’re given a choice of 2 matching wines – a Janz vintage sparkling rosé from Tasmania or an Italian Soave Classico from Cantina Pra.
As the wheel goes round and the sun goes down, we drink in the views. We can see everything from the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House to the cityscape and Anzac Bridge in the distance.
Soon our carriage stops for the main course to be delivered.
From the 2 options on the menu (you choose a few days prior) Mrs Romance has the Humpty Doo Barramundi fillet. The generous portion of fish is crumbly without being dry, and is full of flavour. It comes with a pea, broad bean and kipfler potato stack, and red veined sorrel.
I go for the confit duck Maryland with polenta and caramelised witlof red cabbage purée. The duck is so tender with a little crispiness to the skin, and there’s plenty of delicious gravy. The polenta’s a bit doughy but still tasty, and is a good match for the protein.
The wine choices for this course are a Tarrawarra Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley or a Coudoulet Rouge from Chateau de Beaucastel in the Rhone Valley, France.
We have time to savour the views of the sunset and the city before it’s time for dessert.
The trio of desserts is excellent.
The Cointreau-soaked orange cake is full of flavour and so tender it has a steamed pudding consistency.
The Amaretti with Amoretto semifreddo and raspberries is amazing. Oddly we’re sure we can taste a hint of coffee in the semifreddo.
Softer even that it looks, the three-layered chocolate tart is gooey and rich. It’s almost like a mousse it’s so soft.
There’s a sparkling dessert wine matched with these three sweets – a Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont in Italy – but I can’t stop thinking about the French red from the main course.
We sit back and relax and let our dinner settle. It’s been a remarkable meal – a really fun way to have one of the most romantic evenings you’ll find in Sydney.
If you were going to propose again, here’s where you should do it.
We’ve just got enough time as we leave our carriage for the last ferry to pop into The Deck for coffee and petit fours. The view from our table – with the lights of the Harbour Bridge Opera House shining out over the water – is a beautiful way to end the evening.
As we float away from Luna Park, we reflect on our experience.
? The carriages are incredibly private – you rarely see anyone else having their meal and you can’t hear anyone else either.
? Service is exemplary and the staff work incredibly hard to make you feel special.
? It’s clearly a challenge for the food service as each of the courses has to sit in heated storage containers as it’s being bused. But the quality of the food – and of course the novelty of this amazing view – keep the night on track.
? If it’s a very rainy, windy or stormy evening, there’s a chance that dinner will be moved inside The Deck, which still has the views, but it’s not really the same. Mind you, according to the staff, this doesn’t happen often.
We really loved this experience, and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a date night with a difference. It’s a really unique way to see Sydney. In fact, Mrs Romance commented at one point that “if you were going to propose again, here’s where you should do it.”
I’ve already done that twice though – and the second time landed us in a sing-off with Elvis!
Ferris Wheel Dining with The Deck
Runs every Sunday between mid-October and late March – 6pm-10pm
The Deck at Luna Park
1 Olympic Drive
Do you have a favourite view of your city? Where’s the most unusual place you’ve ever had dinner? Tell us in the comments!