Cafe Nice, Circular Quay

>> April 20, 2013

Let me start off by saying that Cafe Nice is in one of the most convenient locations possible.  I am in love with the LOCATION of this restaurant.

It is right next to Circular Quay station meaning next to a heap of bus stops and ferries and one block from my work.  It could not be easier for me to get to Cafe Nice.  And here is my tip for the day - the address of Cafe Nice is 2 Phillip Street but the entrance is located around the corner on Albert Street.  Now that you have my tip, you won't have to stand like fools in front of the building staring blankly up at the restaurant wondering how to get in.  Like we did.


Cafe Nice is the new venture by the good people who created Fratelli French.  Unlike their other venues which are Italian, this one focuses on French cuisine.

My friend and I went on a Friday night and it was pretty busy. We had a booking for 6.30pm and the bar section was filled with people, as was the restaurant area.  It was quite dark where we were seated so I am grateful to my friend for the photos in this post - my own photos came out even darker and grainier than these ones!

The service was very attentive at the start of the night.  A waitress came over to ask if we had any questions about the menu which was partly in French.

We started off with a French classic - ratatouille.


Ratatouille nicoise with slow-cooked egg ($18)



The ratatouille was served with a slow cooked egg that oozed everywhere after being prodded.  The capiscum, eggplant and tomato worked really well with the grilled bread.  We shared this entree and both enjoyed it.

For my main, I decided to go with fish cooked in paper - something I have never tried before but have heard a lot about from Masterchef!

Mulloway cooked en papillote with leeks, peppers and herbs ($29) - on the right

I actually enjoyed the fish cooked in paper more than I thought I would. After carefully unwrapping the paper, two fairly decent sized portions of mulloway were unveiled. The paper had become greasy on the inside so next time I would try not to touch it with my hands - or rest my cutlery on it!
My friend had the lamb rump and liked it.
Les pommes frites ($8.50)


We also ordered french fries and they were standard.

Towards the end of our meal, the service deteriorated. We struggled to catch the attention of staff who seemed to be zipping around with their heads down. This really put a bad end to what had been a nice dinner. It took us about twenty minutes to flag someone to get the dessert menu and then another twenty to catch someone again to take our order!

Chocolate noir mousse with cocoa nib brittle ($14.50)
Berry and lemon curd mille feuille ($14.50)
The lemon curd mille feuille tasted sour and acidic on my tastebuds. I think I prefer the traditional mille feuille i.e. with lashings of custard! The dark chocolate mousse was very more-ish and dense.

By the end of the meal, I had noticed how loud it was inside the restaurant. We both found ourselves raising our voices to be heard. There were a lot of people inside but I also wondered whether it was the sounds echoing around inside the restaurant that made it even noisier.

Having said that, I would still come back. The food was tasty and as I mentioned earlier - the location is the best.

Cafe Nice on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

missklicious April 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM  

I had a forgettable experience here - I thought the food was okay, and the location is super convenient but the building feels outdated and overlooks the trains

retrodaze April 25, 2013 at 7:30 PM  

Hi missklicious: I actually didn't mind the trains, we weren't facing the windows so I didn't really notice it. I thought I would be able to hear the trains go past but it was so noisy inside that I didn't hear a thing, not even any rattling! I am a bit on the fence about this place but mainly because of the poor service that we had.

Annie @ The Random Foodie May 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM  

i love cafe sopra and was looking forward to cafe nice since it's owned by the same team but most reviews i've heard had been mixed. still wouldn't mind trying it eventually.

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