Cafe Sydney, Sydney CBD

>> January 6, 2013

Another Entertainment Card post!  Cafe Sydney is in the Entertainment Card book with an offer of 25% off your total bill.

It was a balmy summer night in December and we had an early dinner reservation for 6.30pm.  Given it was the busy period of December, we had a bit of trouble making a booking and the girl on the phone struggled to find an availability.  When we arrived there, we could see why - it was filled with tourists and corporate types eager to enjoy the view and atmosphere.

Is the view fantastic? Well, for the best view, ask for a table outside because the inside tables have their view blocked by columns (and other patrons).  I have to admit that I am a bit spoiled in terms of harbour views because I work in a very high office building at Circular Quay that has spectacular views over most of Sydney so I did not appreciate the Cafe Sydney view as much as others.  (Also if you are looking for a similar view without the price tag (maybe to enjoy a meal with a visiting tourist?), may I suggest the new-ish outdoor cafe at the MCA for a lovely view of the Opera House and harbour.)

My first impression of the restaurant was that it was not as plush or swanky as I had thought it would be.  The plain wooden tables and hard backed chairs that we were sitting at caused my friend to comment that it felt more like a cafe. 

We started off with mocktails that scored high marks on presentation but low marks on flavour.

On the right:  Cabana - mango, pineapple, lychee and raspberry ($11)
On the left: My Cherie - cherry, mint, guava nectar, raspberry and sparkling orange juice ($11)


Cafe Sydney is well known for its naan bread so I made sure that we ordered some to try for a starter.

Goat cheese and spinach naan ($3.50)


The naan was the highlight of the meal.  It was piping hot, crisp on the edges yet soft on the inside with delightful pockets of oozy cheese.  Very yummy.

The appetisers came out quickly after the naan.

Baby beetroot and goat cheese tart, caramelised onion, walnut, watercress, cabernet vinegar ($26)


Moreton Bay bugs, prawn, avocado, truss tomato, cos lettuce, ocean trout roe ($27)


I had the bugs as my entree.  The flavours on the dish were very clean and crisp, but at the same time a bit bland.  Most of the flavour on the plate came from the salty balls of roe. 

We both ordered fish as our mains - my friend ordered off the specials menu while I chose the barramundi from the normal menu.  After I tasted both dishes, I had to admit that they tasted very similar.  Essentially they were both well cooked pieces of fish with a bit of cheese, cubed vegetables and slice of lemon.  Both dishes had a real 'winter' feel to them due to the choice of vegetables and I later regretted my choice of main based on my mood for something more summery to suit the wonderful summer night.

Roasted mulloway, goat cheese ravioli, butternut pumpkin, pine nut, muscatel, brown butter ($40)
(Specials menu)


Cone Bay barramundi, fetta cigar, eggplant, red pepper, pine nut, anchovy butter ($39)


We decided to share a dessert and by this stage, we were also starting to run out of time as we had been advised that our seating would finish at 8.15pm.  We ordered the pannacotta off the specials list figuring that it wouldn't take long to plate up.

Mango pannacotta, poached strawberry, strawberry ice cream ($19)
(Specials menu)


When the pannacotta came out,  I looked at the gelatinous mound and hoped that it would not taste just like the mango pudding served at yum cha.  I was keen for a twist - maybe some vanilla bean flavours present - something, anything to make it worth the $19.

Unfortunately it tasted just like an ordinary mango pudding and the plain strawberry syrup that it was resting in did not help.

If anyone is curious, the meal came to about $70 each after the Entertainment Card discount. 

I left Cafe Sydney feeling disappointed with the meal but it might have been because my tastebuds had been expecting something different from the usual.  Instead they received an ordinary meal, but in a nice location. 

Café Sydney on Urbanspoon

1 comments:

eric August 4, 2014 at 1:09 PM  

I was just commenting about this. I think we're very pampered for choice in Sydney. Either way, it's always best NOT to set yourself up too much when you're trying different or new food places!

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