Sydney was a buzz with news of the new Lindt Café that had opened on Martin Place. Apparently this was THE place to go if you like your chocolate. How could I resist!
The café is housed in a stunning building on the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street. A former bank, it was also previously home to the fine dining restaurant called Bank, and its marble columns and high ceilings make you feel like you are in for a very special experience.
If you just want to have a browse here there are lots of chocolate displays and counters of chocolates, cakes and other treats to take home with you. There are flavours of Lindt balls that you have never even imagined!
Favorite Dish: One day after several hours of CBD shopping I met up here with Alex for an indulgent afternoon tea. There was a queue for tables, but it looked like it would be worth the wait. Once seated, we started to work our way through the menu of chocolaty treats. We decided to by-pass the hot chocolates as they looked too rich, and went for a pot of tea and a milkshake for our drinks - the milkshake was evil as you could imagine.
To eat, we shared a Chocolate Sable (a type of choc chip cookie) and the ultimate indulgence - the Lindt Excellence Tart. The tart was very amazing, and incredibly rich. We couldn't finish it, and I must admit to feeling sick for a couple of hours afterwards. Would I do it again - absolutely!
A special family occasion deserved a special family get together, and the chosen venue was the Sofitel Hotel for the decadent Lenôtre afternoon tea. Lenôtre is a French haute cuisine brand, and the chef at the Sofitel trained at the Lenôtre culinary school and is currently the only chef in Australia to have these qualifications. This means that he has the expertise to produce that delicate cakes and pastries that are served up at the Lenôtre experience.
Favorite Dish: Afternoon tea is served in the stylish Sofitel Lounge each afternoon. The cakes are bought out on colourful, tall cake stands, with the little treats winding their way up the stand. At the bottom there are the classic finger sandwiches and very fluffy scones with jam and cream.
As you climb the stand you will sample such treats as Almond Macaroons with fresh raspberries and lemon curd, a Chocolate pastry with layers of almond biscuit, chocolate ganache and coffee butter cream (topped with a gold leaf of course!), and the classic Tarte au Citron, to name a few.
At the top of the stand are the evil looking Cone au Chocolat, which are dark chocolate cones filled with berries and cream. You are doing well if you make it to the top - I couldn't!
Oh, and I highly recommend a glass of champagne to go with your afternoon tea - well, a pot of tea is great, but the champers just helps to really make it that extra special occasion. Cheers!
Eat City is a modern bistro style restaurant located upstairs at the City Hotel. We dined there one evening with some very special people and had a fabulous night. The restaurant was surprisingly empty for a Thursday night, but at least that meant that service was excellent!
The menu is fairly compact, with all meals being designed to share - they are "larger than entrée and smaller than traditional mains". We loved this concept as it meant we could order a few dishes to share between the four of us. After an exhausting selection process we decided on only four dishes, wanting to save room for dessert.
Favorite Dish: We had the Soft Shell Crab with Chilli Salt Crust first of all. It looked fabulous and tasted almost as good, though a little too salty for me. Next up was the incredibly rich Duck Leg Confit with Braised Lentils.
After that came the Kurobuta Pork Neck with Cabbage & Apples - the pork was juicy and the apples were disguised as melon balls. Last but certainly not least was the Wagyu Beef with Gratin Potato & Mushroom Red Wine Jus. This was my favourite dish of the evening - the beef was incredibly tender and flavoursome.
Don't you just love a dessert trolley...hmmm....well, I thought I did, but there wasn't much on the Eat City trolley that tempted me. In the end we ordered a couple of the Chocolate Pyramids which were probably the low-light of the meal.
All in all though it was a great night - some very tasty wine, good food and the best type of company : )
I guess the title above gives you straight away some indication of the clientele of this establishment. It was a bit more upmarket than my usual Lunch dining choice in the city, but I've been past it a few times & thought it was about time to check it out for both myself & also you dear VT reader.
You will be greeted by a polite & helpful waiter who will show you to your table. There seemed to be only male waiters in action this day & for a moment I thought I was back in Paris.
I really liked the complimentary bread with capscicum & olive dips which arrived shortly after. The only other place in the city where I've experience that is at Aria restaurant which is a very upmarket dining establishment (which you will have already read about to get this far. lol!). I liked it not just for the touch it gave, but also because it was very tasty & a good beginning to the meal.
The service overall was very good with friendly help always not too far away. The manager (I think the owner too, but I'm not sure) Terence hovers around in a very friendly way ensuring all is up to the standard he believes it should be.
You can buy an excellent range of wines by the 100ml serve, 150 ml serve or normal bottle. I'm not sure if the place aims to be a serious wine bar with very good food, but it is indeed this.
Favorite Dish: By now you're wondering what I actually had to eat.
I ordered what turned out to be the cheapest meal on offer from the daily specials on the blackboard - a Vegetarian Canneloni.
After asking the waiter which wine he recommended to have with this, he consulted what I assumed to be the sommelier & recommended a glass of 2002 Grechetto Antonelli which arrived in a business name (de Vine) monogrammed glass. I noticed they had the right sized (different) glasses for white wines & red wines. A very professional touch.
Now you don't have to Einstein to work out that I finished off with a Moch Coffee. They use Caffee Molinari (serving Italy since 1804 as it said on the accompanying sugar), a very mild smooth tasting coffee that finished off a very enjoyable meal just perfectly.
I strongly recommend you seek this place out for a great daytime dining experience that won't break the bank, but is a bit more expensive than a lot of the average daytime cafe dining options in Sydney.
PJ O’Brien’s is one of the places I would hang out when I was here in 2005. My latest visit had us stop in here for a pub dinner. A nice multi level bar in the famous Grace Hotel they also serve a decent menu.
For dinner this day we both went simply with the burger. For about $15 each they offer up a decent burger easily paired with a schooner of your favorite beer.
This is also a place to watch sports from around the world all day long.
This was one of those places we came upon when we were hungry. Luckily for us, it was good and warm on a day of cold winds. We did have to wait for them to open up at 5pm but it was only a couple minutes before when we arrived. We had been out and about all day and needed a break and some food and didn’t want to eat where we were meeting friends at 530. So we decided to walk back up George to see what we found. And after a few blocks came across Giovanni’s.
Once inside, we took a table over by the window looking down George Street and took a look at the menu. As usual on this trip we were not drinking with dinner. There would be enough of that to come at Ryan’s later. Anyway, we quickly decided on the Libra Pizza as the purpose of the trip was a birthday now just hours away. This turned out to be quite good and we rather enjoyed it.
Something tells me we will make this a pit stop on one of our future trips here.
We came here for one reason. Ok two. Because everyone said don't waste your money on the AMP tower (which I had already been up previously) and come here and spend the money on a drink. That and we had invited Doug to lunch. So we all had a lightish lunch and drinks for Janet and I as Doug was driving.
From the 47th floor the views are great. The dining floor revolves. And it makes for a very pleasant time.
Favorite Dish: I had the steak and spinach washed with a mojito. It was very very good.
Our last afternoon in Sydney we decided to do something different for lunch and splurge a bit. We asked the concierge about a local restaurant with views and he recommened this place.
The resatuarant is quite beautiful. It is located in a high rise business building. We were treated with 360 views of the city of Sydney as well as exceptionally good food. The restaurant is on a circular platform that rotates around the building giving you a different view as it takes about an hour to fully rotate.
Doug (aussiedoug) was meeting up with us then taking us to the airport so we invited him to join us for lunch. This is an upscale restaurant, so expect to pay for it!
Favorite Dish: We each ordered the 1 course lunch. I believe I had the ocean trout and I know that the other members of our party ordered the beef filet and the chicken.
The trout was excellent. Along with the lunch order we ordered a sour loaf which came with an assortment of hummus and different sauces for dipping.
I had a Mojito with my lunch which was quite good. Meals are not cheap.
Housed in the splendours of the 'Sheraton on the Park' hotel overlooking Hyde Park is Botanica Brasserie and its spectacular buffet .
I'm normally not the greatest exponent of recommending restaurants in hotels or buffets, but this is something else. Admittedly, with its high ceilings and full windows overlooking the park, fairly formal layout and its size, the restaurant is not exactly conducive to a quiet, discrete or even romantic dining experience - especially when most of the diners are there for the famed buffet (they do also a la carte - you simply need to inform your waiter/waitress which option you are taking). And not surprisingly, at its part of the Sheraton it ain;t cheap (AUD$58 per person). But all that can be overlooked - the food is stunning.
The central focus of the buffet is the seafood -- and what seafood it is. You could easily concentrate just on this - sushi, sashimi, oysters, king prawns, lobster, smoked salmon and so much more. And with any buffet, the rule is simple - eat as much as you like!
But there's plenty of other options, too. And, thankfully, although there is the requirement , as with any buffet, the keep the food warm, those copper dishes with the flame underneath are in evidence, the constant 'overviewing' by staff ensure that the food never runs out or dries up. Sensibly, the options here are based on food that benefits from slow coooking - stroganoff, 'stews' etc rather than meat that is better rare/medium rare. And as it was a buffet, not only did I over-indulge in the sea food, but had to try some of the hot plates too (although not that I piled different things on my plate). The stroganoff was superb!
Salads galore, and also a whole table full of desserts (not so interesting - much rather eat an extra plate of king prawns and oysters than a dessert!).
Open 7 days a week.
Favorite Dish: It's famed for its seafood buffet - and deservedly so. But the rest on offer is also excellent.
We literally stumbled upon Giovanni's one day. We were set to meet up with LAura in an hour or so for drinks and I was starving. I knew I couldn't last until then for a meal. The sign was high on a building and we ventured up the excalator for a look at what they had on the menu. It was a pizza/italian restaurant so I knew we'd find something I liked. The restaurant is raher large with huge windows on one side looking down on the street below. The menu has some interesting speciality pizzas named after the twelve signs of the zodiac as well as other italian dishes. After checking out the menu, Chris and I decided on the Libra Pizza (which is only fitting since I am a Libra and the following day was my Birthday). The pizza was very good and fresh. I enjoyed the black olives and the plump tomatoes on the pizza. It was a perefect choice to tame my rumbling tummy.
I realy enjoyed the pizza, the atmospher and the peopl watching from the window. This is definitely a place I would return to for some tasty pizza.
At Scruffy;s you can get some of the cheapest food in the city. For 5 dollars you get a pretty big meal. You choose between steak or fish, or schnitzel & salad and then you get either chips or mash potatoes on top of that. The only catch is that you have to buy a drink too, but hey, you want a drink with your meal anyway now don't you?
Favorite Dish: I am a big fan of their schnitzel. It is usually very nice. Ask the chips to be well done, otherwise you get those typical soggy Australian chips! Barbeque sauce and ketchup are free.
PJ Obrien's is a pub/restuarnt in the Grace Hotel. It's a cute multilevel place with lots of seating. We decided to duck in here for a quick bite on our first evening in Sydney. There is a nice pub atmosphere and we felt comfortable at a nice table on the first floor. The menu consisted of some pub grub favorites as well as some real dinner selections such as steak.
Our waitress was friendly and attentive and kept a good check on our drink refills. We both decided on burgers for our meal. The burgers were a nice size and very tasty. I enjoyed the crisp french fries.
This is a nice place to grab a meal, snack or a pint. There are numerous TV's with sporting events if you'd like to check out some of the local sport.
Favorite Dish: The burger was very good and juicy. I like a nice sized burger that is cooked perfectly medium and I was not dissapointed here. The fries were very good and crisp not limp.
What city is complete without an Irish Theme Pub?
Favorite Dish: Every day they have $5 meals here. Steak & Mash, Chicken Schnitzel, Vege Pasta or Fish & Chips. It's right in the backpacker area, so it's a good price. And they pour a good guinness.
There are other things on the menu, by the way.
At the eat|in foodcourt I have found one of the best sandwich shops in town. You choose two slices of fresh bread from an assortment of about 4 and then a filling. The sandwich is made exactly as you want it.
Favorite Dish: My favourite sandwich is 2 slices of dark brown bread, lettuce, cucumber, pineapple, mayonaise, ham, salt and pepper. Doesn't sound very fancy now does it? Well still it's the best sandwich in town. They have many different tastes. Like tandoori chicken or even a sandwich with mango chutney. Fancy or not the bread is delicious!!
On the basement level of Myer department store you wil find a great foodcourt. I believe it is the biggest in Sydney and for sure it has the most variety. My favourite is the Malaysian take away on your right if you enter via Pitt Street Mall.
Favorite Dish: They have amazing satay and although it's somewhat pricier than most of the other dishes, it is very good quality and worth a bit extra if you're very hungry.