Cafe Sydney – Sydney CBD

Cafe Sydney – Sydney CBD

In this long overdue post I will take you guys back to my dining experience at Cafe Sydney that took place a few months ago, everything is just as vivid in my mind as if I had tasted the food yesterday.

Sitting at the top of the Customs House at 31 Alfred Street here in the Sydney CBD, Cafe Sydney is a sight to behold. Its veranda extending over the 19th century Georgian style building it sits atop of, it feels as if you’re walking into a 200 year old palace and you’re about to dine in the king’s personal quarters.

But enough about the impressive architectural designs, you’re here to read about the food! With quite an extensive menu to choose from, my dining partner and I chose to fill our stomachs with a mix of seafood and land dwelling lifeforms.

First, for our entree, I decided I wanted to try some of the oysters they had on offer, because they were listed at the top of the menu and I’m easily distracted by the visual placement of items. We ordered two of each and man oh man, do they look beautiful when they arrived. They were adorned with an assortment of condiments that added plenty to the taste while allowing just enough of the natural oyster flavour to seep through. The sauces they applied to the oysters were not overwhelming like you would usually find at a seafood buffet where the staff empty a bucket of sauce on each and every oyster like it owed them money and they’re trying to drown it with sauce, the balance here was just right and made my tastebuds very happy. I would score these beauties a solid 8.5 out of 10, the only con I would put against them is the hefty price tag they carry.

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Our other entree, on recommendation of someone from work, we tried the goat cheese spinach naan. I know what you’re wondering, why would you try the naan at a place like Cafe Sydney? We were also a bit hesitant but my dining partner loves her bread and we took it as an opportunity to try something different. And we were pleasantly surprised when it arrived to our table, the naan shell was crisp and not overly doughy, the goat cheese was aplenty, and the spinach added enough flavour that it didn’t taste like soft nachos. All in all, it was a great recommendation and we were glad we went with it, a good 8 out of 10 in my book.

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To finish off our starting round, I ordered a Vesper martini, no explanations needed, and my compadre had a passionfruit twist mocktail on account of her driving duties after dinner. The martini was disappointing to say the least, entirely too salty for my expectations and taste, perhaps that is how it is supposed to be done but I’m afraid it’s not to my personal liking. And the passionfruit mocktail also disappointed in that it had a bitterness to it that was too strong and overpowered the rest of the sweeter ingredients, not what one would expect when they take a gander at the glass. Overall, I score them an average 5.5 out of 10.

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And now, to the moment you’ve been waiting for, the main course. To sate our hunger, we ordered the suckling pork belly and the chef special, blue eye trevalla. For side dishes, we had the burrata and rocket salad, just so we don’t feel guilty about not feeding our bodies anything healthy, and potatoes roasted in duck fat.

The blue eye trevalla caught my attention mainly due to it not being on the regular menu and was one of the chef specials they had on at the time, nothing that makes a guy feel more special than ordering something not normally offered. However, the excitement was soon diminished as the seafood catch was delivered to the table. It looked good but the meat of the fish felt a bit dry for my taste, there was not much juice, natural or otherwise, infused in the meat of the blue eye trevalla and it really showed against the palette. The most damning criticism I have against the dish is the fact that the mushroom and potato paste that accompanied the fish were more tasty and flavourful than the trevalla itself. As for the side dishes, the roasted potatoes were uneventful, it tasted like any other potato that one could find at their local grocery store, the duck fat factor that was advertised did not come through in the taste test. And the rocket salad was largely left untouched by our table, perhaps we just weren’t in the mood for it but I did not eat enough of the salad to make a judgement. This paragraph is becoming a bit longwinded so I’m going to wrap it up! For the blue eye trevalla, it scores a 6 out of 10 with the mushroom and potato paste being its saving grace. And 4 out of 10 for the duck fat roasted potatoes.

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On the other hand, the pork belly was a truly exquisite experience on its own. The fatty layer was extra crispy and easy to chew, completely laid to rest our fear that the fat would be too chewy and make the entire dish an unpleasant and gross experience. The meatier layer underneath the crispy surface was quite substantial, belying its seemingly small real estate. The juiciness of the pork belly came out with every bite, it was cooked very tender and full of flavour, and I’m not sure what it was cooked with but there was an aromatic hint to it as well. Accompanying the suckling pork belly was a small cut of morcilla sausage (blood sausage), burnt peach (that’s not a potato!), and apple balsamic for you to slather your food with. And slather we did, on everything! It added a sweet apple taste with a slight vinaigrette kick that matched well with the innate flavours of the other dishes. The morcilla sausage and burnt peach were nice additions to the plate that contributed unique flavours and texture that we were not expecting of the dish, they made a nice contrast to the pork belly. Overall, the suckling pork belly receives a score of 9 out of 10.

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Other than the food, the place was extravagant and breathtaking in its décor, with a great view of Circular Quay. The service was good aside from the overly attentive waiter that tried so hard to make sure we were having a good time that he became a bit of a nuisance, it came out of good intentions but I wish he had dialed back the enthusiasm a little bit. But overall, I would highly recommend Cafe Sydney with its beautifully presented food that mostly taste as good as they look and its breathtaking atmosphere and view. They also have a lounge section where you can go just to enjoy a few drinks and the view.

Zomato Review

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Bar Luca “Bacon Bad” – Sydney CBD

Bar Luca “Bacon Bad” – Sydney CBD

So this is my foray into the world of food blogging, excited! Let’s hope I can keep the posts coming consistently!

I decided today was the day (of the week) I’m going to treat myself to something special for lunch and made the trek to Bar Luca right here on 52 Phillip Street in the Sydney CBD. The weather looked beautiful, when I was still sitting in the office, it soon became a humid affair as soon as I stepped out onto the streets. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though as the exercise helped prepare me for the feast that was about to be bestowed upon me.

Even though I was expecting great things as Bar Luca has always delivered, I was still surprised by how sneakily hefty the Bacon Bad was. It may not look as big as some of their other creations but it sure packs a mean punch! Consisting of wagyu patty, double cheddar cheese, streaky bacon, pickled jalapeños, bacon & maple jam, and smokey BBQ aioli.

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The strong flavouring of the BBQ aioli was the first thing that hit my tastebuds as soon as I bit into it, and boy, was it good! Emphasis on the smokey part, it helped bring out the natural flavours of the bacon and the patty sitting marinated inside the burger. It felt like I was sitting in a mate’s backyard and enjoying some quality BBQ.

Bacon was the perfect amount of crispiness, greasiness, and overall taste. Thank heavens it was not overly chewy, not unlike a dog toy. I mean, I wouldn’t know what a dog toy chews like, that’s just what I’ve heard…..And the other meat component of the burger, the good ol’ wagyu patty, was cooked just right with a good amount of tenderness and juiciness left packed up in that protein attraction. On top of that, throw on some double cheddar and you’ve got a cheese fanatic like myself hooked! The cheese had the perfect amount of meltiness and stability to cover all the protein parts in a flavour shell while also not making a huge mess of the rest of your plate and/or yourself. And the jalapeños were a nice addition to the burger in terms of texture, they didn’t carry the usual hotness and spice that one usually expects, and that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personal preference. I didn’t mind it one way or another, the extra texture that it brought to the burger was nice but having a touch of the spice would’ve been nice to add to the mixture of flavours. Consider the jalapeños fence sat!

Lastly, my favourite part of the burger, the maple jam. Perhaps I am biased towards all things maple related due to Bar Luca’s other creation that they keep on their regular menu if you’re keen to try it out, the Blame Canada burger. Either way, the maple jam complemented the BBQ aioli perfectly, like Whitney and Bobby, without the domestic violence. The maple goodness somehow permeated throughout the entire burger, even on top of all the other strong flavours. And that’s always a good thing in my book.

For the #fbas folks, 4.3/5 pickles.

Another link to Bar Luca’s site – http://barluca.com.au/

Zomato Review

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