Monday, 23 November 2009

Restaurant Review: Cafe Sydney

Just over a week ago I went for lunch at Cafe Sydney, which is located on the top floor of Customs House sitting just behind Circular Quay. Customs House is one of the few period buildings left close to the water. I am sure it was once an imposing building with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour (as befitting the tax man), but is now slightly overshadowed by the surrounding buildings and train line in front.

The restaurant was a little smaller than I expected, but looked very sleek with it's dark wooden interior. The main reason for going to Cafe Sydney is for the view. There is a great view of the Harbour Bridge, however, the Opera House is virtually obscured by the modern flats on the eastern side of Circular Quay.

My main memory is how artistic the food was, it all looked beautiful on the plate. I started with the seared scallops and white anchovy. I thought that the anchovies might over power the delicate taste of the scallops, but they didn't and were equally delicate themselves. Two of the table had the octopus salad which looked fantastic.

For the main course I had the spatchcock of chicken served on a bed of zucchini, borlotti beans, speck and jus. For me the dish didn't quite work. The chicken was very tender, but arty bowl come plate that it was served on made the chicken quite difficult to cut. The jus was very oily and bed of vegetables was a bit miserly. When I am paying a lot for a main meal, why should I also have to buy a side? It all tasted good, but I don't think came together as a plate of food.

For desert I shared the cheese plate with two others. We had three enormous pieces of cheese that the menu only described as a blue, white and semi hard cheese. The cheeses were accompanied by some lovely walnut bread, dates and a pear chutney.

It was a work event so I thought it a bit inappropriate to take my camera and snap away, hence there are no photos of the action.

I am pleased I went, but don't think that I would pay the rather expensive bill to go again. The view and ambiance of the restaurant are both fantastic, but the food doesn't quite live up to the price tag.

Cafe Sydney on Urbanspoon

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