2013 was a quick year but I must say 2014 is catching on in speed. I mean almost a month ago, I was at Cafe Sydney enjoying my Christmas Eve dinner and lamenting on the events of 2013 and before you know it, January 2014 is already nearly over. Nevertheless I do enjoy looking back on the delicious meals I've had, especially when it's at one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney.
Cafe Sydney is located at Customs House Sydney which is a 3 minute walk from Circular Quay Station. The epitome of beautiful food matched with Sydney's best views.
Situated on the roof of Customs House, Cafe Sydney overlooks the harbour and sitting on the terrace guarantees a splendid view of the waters - great for day and night. M and I usually don't order alcohol at restaurants unless it's a special occasion and Christmas Eve was well-deserving of the title special. A glass of 2008 Chandon Rose (Yarra Valley VIC $16) each allowed for some sweet sparkling bubbly to celebrate the last few days of 2014.
Whilst Cafe Sydney doesn't offer complimentary bread like the usual fine dining places do, they do have something better on offer - and it's not too pricey either. You have absolutely got to try the naan (if you haven't already, that is) - we got a mix of Garlic Naan ($2) and Goat Cheese and Spinach Naan ($3.50). They come nice and hot with a slight charcoal crisp to its outer edges. My favourite is the garlic version as it is super flavoursome and buttery but M took a liking with the cheese one as well. Do note - it is quite oily!
The entree menu looked amazing - it was so difficult to make a final decision. I chose the Moreton Bay Bugs, Tiger Prawns, Gem Lettuce, Kipfler Potato, Coddled Egg Dressing, Avruga Caviar ($27) and it proved to be a great choice for a warm summer evening. The prawn and bug meat was tenderly succulent whilst the dressing and all the other condiments contributed to the kick in flavour. It was fresh and delicious!
M's choice of Crumbed Crab Cake, Grilled Prawn, Cornichon, Fennel, Sauce Gribiche ($27) was on equal levels of deliciousness. I was tempted to order this but considering how I had tried it on a previous occasion, I swayed away to make a new order. The crab cake is meaty, packed with flavour and the crumbed outer edges adds a nice crunch to each bite. The sauce was also lovely and ultimately you just can't go wrong with the combination of prawn and crab. This has been on the menu since as long as I remember and it definitely deserves the long-standing spot.
For my main, I ordered the special for the day (they have additions everyday) which was the Palmers Island Mulloway, Scampi Croquette, Prawns, Asparagus, Zucchini Flower with Verjus Butter ($40) - it simply sounded too good to miss. And thank god I didn't miss it. The fish was cooked beautifully with a nicely seared crispy skin. The hero was the buttery sauce as it added a hint of creaminess to the fish and I loved the fried croquette also. Fantastic fish dish!
M's main of Berkshire Pork, Crispy Pressed, Pine Nut Crusted Loin, Confit Belly, Morcilla Sausage, Sweet Potato with Apple Jus ($39) was also a tasty feast but paled in comparison to my fish. Some parts of the pork was very tender whilst others a bit more tough.
I always believe that when there is a Dessert Platter ($45) on the menu - order it. Some quick maths calculations will prove that ordering the platter usually gives more value for money. For that night, the dessert platter included 3 delectable treats - I've included their stand alone prices for reference:
- Mango Trifle, Coconut Custard, Pineapple Sorbet ($19) - this was superb! The best trifle I've ever had in terms of the balance of textures and flavours. Each spoonful was a divine mixture of crumble, creamy custard, fresh mango with a tangy finish from the sorbet. The PERFECT summer dessert.
- Double Chocolate Slice, Pistachio Crumble, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Creme Fraiche ($19) - a rich slice of chocolate heaven with decadent flavours. Can get quite sweet towards the end so mix it around with the other desserts and don't eat it in one go.
- Lemon Curd Panna Cotta, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger Crumble, Curd Ice Cream ($19) - this was't too special but it was a classic dessert that tasted deliciously fresh regardless. Loved the combination of creamy panna cotta with sweet strawberries and crumble.
Apart from the delicious food, one of the things that makes Cafe Sydney so stunningly different is the interior design of the restaurant. Think classic contemporary and timeless hues of beige, brown and white.
If you make an early booking you can snag yourself a spot outside - provided that the weather is good, the view is priceless.
The bar/lounge area doesn't look too shabby either!
We were very lucky to get one of the best seats in the house for that night - can never get sick of this view :)
Overall, I loved Cafe Sydney - it's one of those restaurants where I always recommend to friends and family, especially those who come from overseas and are visiting Sydney for the first time. The only thing I'd fault would be the service - we felt that although there were quite a few staff standing around, it was quite difficult to get their attention at times.
Apart from that, I loved the quality food and the beautiful view!
31 Alfred Street
Circular Quay NSW 2000
02 9251 8683