The name Twenty one Espresso could be confusing. It sounds like a Coffee Shop when in actual fact, it is a time honoured and very respected a-la-carte restaurant situated at 21 Knox Street in Double Bay. When I was a teenager well over 40 years ago, I was living in the area and my friends and I would save up so that we could go to Twenty One on our birthdays. It was fabulous back then and what makes it fabulous now is that not much has changed since then. Even today I would hazard a guess that about 80% of the clientele is over 50. The restaurant is decorated in what I can only describe as elegant retro. It has been lovingly maintained for many decades. On a Sunday night especially, you can still see the elderly owners working in the restaurant.. If you have booked a table you will be greeted by name and seated by the elderly gentleman owner and then you will be served as though you are the only people in the restaurant tonight, by a waiter dressed in the famous European style of black vest with crisp white shirt and of course the long black apron. This is, without a doubt, my favourite restaurant on the face of the planet.
Favorite Dish: The menu is distinctly Hungarian/Austrian in flavour and the Wiener Schnitzel is super special. The portions are big or if you would prefer, a small size is available for many of the selections. I also drool just thinking of the Matzoh Ball Soup and the Baked Veal Shank served with fluffy mashed potato and steamed vegetables. Bread and butter is provided free (just as it used to be) and if you don't feel like the home made Apple or Cherry Strudel, then maybe a pancake would be more to your liking. The wine list is extensive and the coffee blended to perfection.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
I have just returned from a great weekend in Sydney and of course visited my favourite restaurant not once but twice in three days. Everything was almost exactly the same. just as I knew it would be. The food was still simply served but scrumptious and the portion sizes were huge.. The menu was the same and the service was friendly and extremely efficient as always. Our meals were served very quickly even though the restaurant was packed to the rafters on both nights. The only thing I missed was the elderly couple (the owners) who used to be there from time to time (usually on Sunday nights). Our waiter was the same one who has served us every time we have visited for many years past. Cafe 21 did not disappoint, but I knew that before we even walked through the door.
It's been here since 1958 - and in decor little looks as if it has changed! Big glass windows looking out on to the street and running along the alley, a few tables outside, banquettes inside. Mirrors increase the appearance of space.
But it's the food that keeps bringing people back to this incredibly friendly restaurant where the wait staff are either members of the family or have probably worked here for the last 20 years. Young and trendy it ain't!! :)
Shame it's in Double Bay.
Favorite Dish: Eastern European and Eastern European Jewish food galore... The menu is extensive - made doubly difficult by the fact everything comes in two sizes - so you have the whole menu to select starters and mains.... (except the soups which come in 3 sizes!).
Paprika chicken, stuffed cabbage rolls, veal bakonyi, schnitzel (chicken, wiener, gypsy), chicken livers - then there's steaks, burgers, pastas and so much more.
So with difficulty I chose the ox tongue in Madeira sauce and mashed potato which was, basically, divine. Oh and a side order of creamed spinach....
We chose to eat at this place after I read a food blog raving about their Singapore Chili Crab; which I am a huge fan of. It didn't take much convincing to have my wife and our friend Jackie try the place out since they are both adventurous food wise.
The restaurant was located not to far from Jackie house and tucked away on a corner of a main drive. When we first entered I knew it had to be good since the place was packed. We were seated at a table by the window and handed menus. I knew exactly what I wanted but the girls took their time perusing the menu items.
I ordered my delicious chili crab, Liz went with a Singapore noodle dish and Jackie had a chicken dish of which I cannot remember the name..sorry mind is still focused on the crab.
The food here was incredible; my crab exceeded expectations on so many levels (freshness, portion size and taste). I still cannot stop thinking about how good it was and when I can get some more.
Favorite Dish: The chili crab!!!
Opened in 1956 by Beppi and his wife Norma, this institution has remained in the family since. Over the years, the restaurant has accumulated more than 40 awards, including Beppi himself inducted into the Restaurant Hall of Fame in 1993 and awarded the Cavaliere del Lavoro (equivalent of knighthood) by the Italian government in 1998. Some pedigree.
Any boy oh boy does it live up to its name. In a quiet unassuming building and surrounds in East Sydney, the valet parking will whisk away your car whilst you step though into a warren of subterranean rooms and vaults. Dining for two or group bookings, Beppi's can accommodate in a variety of ways. Heavy white linen and the more formal main dining room through to small, 'cellar' rooms exuding atmosphere (and lined with bottles of vintage wine - be tempted by a 1953 Y'Quem for a few thousand dollars!).
And the food is glorious. Everything you would want and expect (and much much more).
Prices - it ain't cheap - $A35-40 for mains, $A18-20 for entrees, $A30-35 for pasta mains. But you'll pay those prices at most up-market restaurants in Sydney. But to eat in Beppi's is an event as much a fine-dining experience. Bookings essential.
Open: Lunch: Monday-Saturday, 12 noon - 3pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm - 11pm
Favorite Dish: Beppi's is just one of those places where you want to try everything on the menu. But if anything (and its a close call), fish and seafood is possibly the order of the day - mussels, oysters, lobster, prawns feature highly. The lemon sole was to die for. But that was a 10pm choice - if we'd been dining earlier, I may have gone for the de-boned duck with orange, prosciutto and brandy. Or the Capelli d'Angelo with prawns, crab and lobster and saffron sauce...
Just writing this is making me hungry... :)
A stunning experience....
Wow, this is a must while you;re in Syd. We LOVED this place. amazing interior, opulent furniture, palms, rugs, lots of low lamps, you feel like are in Raffles in singapore. it is really coool! we had dinner there but they also do a High Tea on the weekends. its in Darlinghurst so quite close to the city or Surry Hills.
Favorite Dish: Definately the Rose Petal Martinis in the bar and the Goat Cheese Balls on caramelised onion with honey infused truffles in the restaurant, sooo divine, they just melt in your mouth. lots of other great Meditteranean dishes to, all designed to share.
Getting Mexican food in Oz is very difficult getting good mexican food is even harder,whilst the food in this place will never compare with the amazing mexican food I had in NYC,cafe pacifico gets acolades for atmosphere and free tequilas,it is quietly hid away around the corner from darlinghurst's busiest resteraunts and close to sydney's major museum.It has a unique and intimate character with a well worn sort of travellers interior.The last time I was here on my bday my favourite musician and one of australia's current favourites 'Lior' was sitting at the table next to me.Wonderful service & echildas ,no pretension It gets better with every visit.
A small family-run restaurant with wonderful atmosphere. Good choice of different Mexican dishes, form tacos and burritos to cactus salad and kangaroo fajitas (Oz-Mex speciality :)). The owner of the restaurant, Jose, is always there to chat and help you choose your meals. Sometimes he takes his guitar and sings for guests (especially for those who celebrate birthdays). Charming place!
Open Tue-Sun 6pm until late. On fridays and saturdays it's usually full so make sure to book your table.
A small rocky inlet, part of Clovelly Bay was concreted over in the 1920s to create a safe, 'natural' sea water pool. Overlooking this pool (and ocean beyond) is the popular Seasalt Kiosk Restaurant, a fairly large wooden restaurant with a great terrace with fabulous views. This is an ocean restaurant rather than those closer to the city overlooking the harbour.
Favorite Dish: Very popular for weekend breakfasts, the cafe is open all day, serving great, hearty breakfasts, lunch and dinner (licensed). Sunday breakfast is terrific - the usual Aussie breakfast of variations on a theme on eggs, muesli, yogurt, pancakes etc.
this is a simple pizza place located near to the university of new south wales.. we were there coz this is my bf's favourite during his uni days.. :P must admit that the pizza here is utterly delicious.. so, if you've got a car, it's worth the trip here.. oh, and there are lots of nice beaches nearby..
Favorite Dish: crispy pizza base with your favourite toppings!