>> 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.
Cafe Sydney is well known for its naan bread so I made sure that we ordered some to try for a starter.
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.
Roasted mulloway, goat cheese ravioli, butternut pumpkin, pine nut, muscatel, brown butter ($40)
Mango pannacotta, poached strawberry, strawberry ice cream ($19)
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.