Lunch with a long lost friend on a summery Sunday. Café Sydney had to be the choice with stunning water views and a contemporary menu where everyone can find something they like. Previously I’ve received nothing but hospitable service at Café Sydney. Unfortunately this time around we didn’t seem to hit things off with our waiter too well. He didn’t seem too impressed when we didn’t order champagne or cocktails straight away and things really went pear shaped from there.
I am usually a drinker but on this occasion Em was doing fit Feb so Nyssa and I decided to join her in the non-drinking stakes. No cocktails. No wine. No sparkling water. Wow, our waiter really wasn’t impressed. He did his best to up-sell, cross-sell or just sell anything at all. But his attitude soured when our answers remained the same. Oh well we tried not to take notice of his change in tune and focussed on the food, views and great conversation.
Garlic naan ($2.50).
Who can resist bread to start a meal? We ordered garlic naan which came out cut into four decent size portions and ticked all the right boxes – buttery, garlicky and cooked to the perfect charcoal level. Utterly moreish and the perfect way to get things underway.
Moreton Bay bugs, prawn, avocado, truss tomato, cos lettuce, ocean trout roe ($27.00).
Café Sydney does seafood really well so I was immediately drawn to the Moreton Bay bugs. I have to admit I had forgotten the dish also included prawns (which I had ordered for my main) and was surprised to see two big plump prawns on the plate. I had been expecting less prawn and more bug. Nevertheless bugs are expensive and for an entree there was a nice amount of seafood on the plate. Both the bugs and prawns were fresh and flavoursome, reminding me how lucky we are in Sydney to have so much gorgeous produce available. The rest of the salad did its job but to be honest it was really all just about the seafood for me.
Grilled Queensland prawns, spanner crab ravioli, baby zucchini, cavolo nero, crustacean broth ($39.00).
As I was in a seafood mood I went with the prawn dish for my main. A generous serving of grilled Queensland prawns and just check out the size of them. They were large prawns! These babies were grilled nicely (no tough flavourless prawns here), juicy and sweet. Baby zucchini and cavolo nero fulfilled the greens duty while a few little pockets of spanner crab ravioli gave the dish some substance. Seasoned well and flavoursome though I felt the pasta was a little too thick and overpowered the spanner crab to a certain extent. In ways it felt I was having prawns followed by prawns with my menu selections, but luckily I like prawns.
Although the views are spectacular and all the food was lovely, the waiter with attitude made us decide to head elsewhere for dessert. Perhaps restaurants really do make all their money on drinks but I’m still surprised at the attitude we copped, where previously the service has been much friendlier. Little did he know we were dining on an Entertainment Card and therefore gaining a discount. His poor form resulted in absolutely no tip; I’ve never not tipped in my life but there is a first for everything.
The views are spectacular and the vibe at Café Sydney is always wonderful. The food is pleasant though pricey. And although we had a bad experience with our waiter on this occasion I would still go back.
31 Alfred Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9251 8683
Cafe Sydney Website