Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cafe Sydney

I had been dying to try Cafe Sydney for months, when the time came to suggest a place to eat before watching Carl Barron at the Opera House, Cafe Sydney seemed perfect.
Café Sydney is located in Historic Custom’s house (right across the road from Maccas at Circular Quay). To get to the restaurant you must catch the lift up, where you will then be greeted by the wait staff upon your arrival. The layout of the restaurant is very comfortable with a glass ceiling letting in plenty of light and the décor giving the room a classy yet relaxed feel. The dark wood finishes and entry lifts reminded me of Zeta Bar at the Hilton (but a lot brighter).

The view is stunning and if you book early enough you can grab yourself an outside table. We chose to sit inside this time as rain was expected, it turned out to be a good choice as the glass doors next to us were opened up to give a ‘sitting outside feel’.

The staff at Café Sydney is generally quite young and funky which I guess helps set the mood and feel of the bar. Our waiter was a young guy (with David Beckham hair) who seemed to try a little too hard at trying to be ‘very professional’. He always stood with his hand clasped and spoke so softly that half the time we couldn’t hear what he was saying, we would just nod and smile and ask each other what he said after he had left. During the night Betty made it her mission to try make him crack a smile or to relax just a notch, he wasn’t going to budge.

Overall the mains were pretty good although a bit pricy for what it is (you're probably paying for the view and ambience.

Dessert platter 39.00

The dessert platter changes regularly (so don't expect to have the same thing when you visit), this time we had a pecan and peach tart, a tropical trifle, a rich black cherry and chocolate cake and gelato with almond bread.

The other girls seemed to enjoy the platter but I was a little disappointed. I found the pecan tart to be a bit dry and would have been better matched with ice cream than cream. The dark chocolate cherry cake was very rich and drenched in a bit too much liquor making it rather soggy at the bottom. The gelato was nice but very ordinary, the trifle on the other hand got the thumbs up from all of us.

Whilst the experience was good, there's probably a lot more places I would rather try before making a return visit.


lil_lamies said...

Carl Barron is the funniest man I know to date... I was rolling in the isles laughing. I cannot believe all the attempts to make our waiter crack was all in vain:(

Hoi said...

Pretty much agree with everything in your review. Sharon and me went there a while ago, and while the food was passable on an abstract basis, when combined with the price tag it was really rather disappointing. I guess the stunning view does carry a price premium, but I don't think we'll be rushing back there soon (although if it's still in the Entertainment Book, that might make things a bit better!)

DJ Ho said...

where did you get this idea to photograph the ticket? :P

PiCkLeS said...

Twins: You weren't laughing as loud as the woman infront of me..she started laughing even before the jokes started!

Hoi: Gotta love the entertainment book! you selling them again this year?

Ho: I actually hadn't seen your post till i saw your message now. I photograph everything!

Dianna said...

OH EM!!!
i've been wanting to try cafe sydney out for literally a year, but never got the chance. now that I read your review i'm not toooo sure I want to go anymore!! =(
maybe at night it's different?

PiCkLeS said...

Di: I think it's worth trying because you need to give everything a go at least once? but compared to how some people have raved on about it i didnt think that it was THAT good. The girls and i went there at 6pm and was there till 7:45pm? Some people have said that the mains come out pretty slow when it's the real busy time.

Hoi said...

Di, the mains take a bit longer than average to come out, I remember they took about 30-35 minutes and we went there at about 8pm with lots of people around. The view is stunning, but you can go to other places with stunning views that will serve far better food for comparable prices, e.g. Level Forty One, Cruise (actually the food isn't that good there either I think), Wildfire if you can get a spot next to the window (although their food quality does vary...)

And it's not as if you're guaranteed a fantastic view because on some of the inner tables you won't be able to see very much, whereas if you go to say Level 41, most of the tables have great views. Anyway, just my two cents' worth.

PiCkLeS said...

on that note Level 41 - thumbs up. Wildfire BIG THUMBS DOWN!

petals said...

I heard that Level 41 was very disappointing...especially with its price tag. Cruise was okay, and the price was still hankering to go to Tetsuya's and Bistro Moncur.

There is only one restaurant that has left a really good impression on me, and the service was excellent too! For one of our celebrations, bf took me to Otto's in Woolloomooloo last year...think it was in Autumn. Food was fresh and YUM! Bf stepped away to go to the men's and the waiter out of no where covered our plates so the food would stay warm. Very intimate atmosphere, dark decor...only gripe is that the tables are not far from the next couples beside you...but thats expected in Woolloomooloo...

I'm trying Bistro Lilly this Saturday night...I hope its not disappointing, but at least the pricing is reasonable and the menu does look delectable.

Happy eating! ^_^

PiCkLeS said...

Hm... Otto's aye..sounds good!It's terrible I've become a bit obsessed with eating out and as a result I'm spending so much!! It worse when it's on something that isn't tangible!

We should grab, Riss, Mey and Vics for a dinner one night!

And I am soooooooooooo sorry if I seemed a little lost this morning on the train. Had a very big meeting in the city office and was very pre occupied. I also blame lack of sleep =P

This week I have dinner at Masuya's again, Num Num tomorrow and a pub? in darlinghurst on Friday....broke i tell ya...flat broke.

Anonymous said...

OOoo, hoi, maybe i'll give level 41 a try. done cruise and wildfire... neutral towards them. =)
I really want to try Tetsuya's coz Ken says the food is more than divine. It's so expensive though, I really need a good excuse haha=D

Hoi said...

I've been to level 41 twice and it's been pretty good both times, and the view is better than anything at cafe sydney as well.

As for Tetsuya, well, I'm sure the food is great, but what, 190 bucks a head??! I like my food, but c'mon, 190 bucks a head, two people = 380 bucks... 380 bucks!

Fine dining is good, but there's gotta be a stopping point somewhere. 380 bucks will probably get you two dinners at Est and Est is ridonkulously good. 380 bucks will also get you at least three pairs of good sneakers at the Nike Factory Outlet or a ridiculously nice wallet at the recent Gucci sale or 1.5 pairs of ridiculously nice shoes at Bally, but anyway...

380 bucks for dinner! The more I think about that, the more ridiculous it is. Anyway, if you go, do put a report up for all of us to get jealous over, just like your Hawaii post!

petals said...

We should Emily...just have a girls nite out...and i think we all have an Entertainment Card! *LoL* How many cards combined can we use???