Tag Archives: Sydney food with a view

Kingsley’s Steak & Crabhouse, Woolloomooloo

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Genetics is a funny thing. As regular readers would know, the Marito is a vegacquarian. I’ve never been a big meat eater, and even less so since we’ve been married. Yet our progeny are two of the biggest carnivores I’ve ever come across. A slab of expertly cooked meat and a side of green beans is one of their ideal meals. So it was no surprise when I asked where they wanted to go for lunch for their birthday that they suggested a steakhouse. Being spring, I thought Woolloomoloo would be very pleasant for an outdoor waterside meal, and Kingsley’s it was. I thought then, it was only fair, that they write up their thoughts on our experience. I would only add that the service was excellent, with extremely attentive and friendly staff.

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Now before you think we are mean by not letting them have any more, they were keen on ordering another 250g steak a piece…..half a kilo of meat each for 25kg kids…hmmm….maybe not.

We also sampled a refreshing tomato and burrata salad

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And some tasty dressed king crab with avocado (though average brioche on the side)

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Kingsleys Woolloomooloo Wharf, Cowper Wharf Road
http://www.kingsleys.com.au/sydney/home

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ormeggio at the Spit, Mosman

005 Wasn’t it a lucky day for the Northside when the lovely Alessandro and Anna Pavoni decided they’d set up camp there? This tranquil, modern Italian fine diner is, literally, on the water, and a very pleasant spot to have a long lazy lunch or an intimate dinner. What is particularly appealing is that its fine dining without the hefty price tag – there are some lovely set menu and degustation options without you needing to take out a mortgage. This wasn’t my first visit but on this particular day we were meeting friends, all of us with our offspring in tow, so opted for an early dinner. The “sunset menu” is $59 for three courses which is pretty outstanding value for a two hatter. And kids are well catered for too – a great selection for $15 and under. (However I did think $9 for bread for the table was a bit much). They’re Italian, they won’t be surprised if you bring your kids (and great aunties, third cousins, a few nephews and your next door neighbour).  They also have some of the most beautiful plates and bowls I’ve ever seen – many of them are handmade by someone in Balmain, whose name I can’t recall!

The sunset menu has three entrees, three mains, and three deserts to choose from. I chose the veal agnolotti with onion consomme which was a fantastic start, just full of flavour.
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I steal a bite of the husband’s ling fish baccala, with polenta croutons and dutch cream potato and this too is delicious – the cream is not too heavy and the flavours of the fish come through.
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I rarely order risotto, as so many places get it wrong, but here – a canaroli risotto with saffron, liquorice and duck – I know I will be in good hands, and indeed the texture and consistency is just as it should be.
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The deserts are unusual, and a work of art at the same time. Look at how pretty this is – its carrot, with fennel seed ice cream, faro cream, vinegar caramel. Its an unexpected combination of flavours that works really well together.
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And then the toasted rice gelato, rice and ricotta cake, with earl grey. I didn’t particularly enjoy the foam, and there was a little too much earl grey for me, but I could have downed a whole bowl of that rice gelato and polished off a slab of the ricotta.
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To finish, some little lime and ginger zeppole.

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Who wouldn’t enjoy fine food sitting here?

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Ormeggio, D’Albora Marinas, Spit Rd, Mosman Ph (02) 9969 4088
http://www.ormeggio.com.au

Ormeggio at the Spit on Urbanspoon

Sails at Lavendar Bay

Ah, food with a view. Its always a bit controversial in Sydney. Plenty of places figure that good can be ‘good enough’ because they’re always going to get enough through traffic or tourist trade to keep things ticking along. So here I am at Sails at Macmahons Point – its a gray and miserable day, but even that doesn’t dampen the majestic view. Its a medium size glass framed restaurant to optimise the view with a ferry stop conveniently located at its door.  There’s also a valet parking service if you’re driving, which is a good idea as spots are hard to come by there.

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Its not a large menu, but there’s enough there to tempt and choose from. I start with an entree of Crystal Bay prawns with a crab and shallot pastille and sweet corn puree. Packed full of flavour, but the plate was also scattered with popcorn, which really didn’t work.  If you order this, ask them to hold the kernels!

Then onto Eye Fillet with polenta and salsa verde. A well cooked piece of meat and creamy polenta, but the salsa verde was somewhat bitter and unpleasant.

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Caramelised Onion and Oyster mushroom tarte tatin, with asparagus, tomatoes, emmental, truffle and chive dressing – looked like spring on a plate!

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For dessert, raspberry and basil creme brulee with raspberry sorbet. I couldn’t taste basil, but I could taste a good hit of Amaretto or some other almond liquer, which isn’t mentioned in the description.  Brulee was slightly heavy.

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As far as food with a view goes, they do reasonably well. It comes with punchy pricing, with mains in the $38-43 range. Service however was very snooty indeed and the staff were not warm or welcoming.  It was really hard to get anyone’s attention – but really we shouldn’t have needed to be trying to get someone’s attention to order after being there for 20 minutes, someone should have approached us by then.  Similarly difficult to ask for the bill, I think we could have done a runner!

Personally I’m not that hung up about food with a view – our beautiful harbour is free and can be enjoyed in many ways.  Given the choice, I’d rather have outstanding food in a plain room with some great company, than decent/good food in beautiful surrounds – but that said, there’s a time and place for everything

Sails at Lavendar Bay, 2 Henry Lawson Ave, McMahons Point, Ph (02) 9955 5998

Sails on Lavender Bay on Urbanspoon

Cucinetta, Woolwich

Cucinetta is Italian for “little kitchen”. And a lovely little kitchen this is in the salubrious Woolwich peninsula, looking out towards the habour bridge. Bright and light, its a great space for a relaxed lunch, admiring the city from a distance and glad that you are not a part of its busyness. Now in its seventh year, Vincenzo Mazzotta’s kitchen must be putting on a good show or the well heeled local patrons would have quickly flocked elsewhere. There’s a lot to be said for longevity in the restaurant game.

I’ve seen a few recent negative comments about the service and staff, but they seem to have heeded them, as they were attentive, welcoming, and accommodating, and we felt well looked after.

On the menu:

Pane Carasau – Sardinian Bread with mascarpone cheese and truffle honey and marinated olives.  While the cheese and honey combination was a great creamy indulgence to spread on the crispy slices, it was an incredibly small portion of cheese, and this was not at all good value for $21.

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Calamaretti – lighty fried calamari with tartare aioli. And the frying was indeed light, with no heavy sense of oil.

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Proscuitto di Parma with Buffalo Mozzarella and Caramelised Grapes.  Those grapes – a standout – and such a pretty dish, but again I thought four slices of prosciutto was a little lean.

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Vincenzo’s signature potato gnocchi with parmesan fondue, truffle, and black pepper.  Light and fluffy potato pillows, though I couldn’t really taste the truffle.

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Fresh Egg Squid Ink Linguine with crab meat, tomato, basil, parsley, and fried chilli.  This was the dish of the day for me. Silky smooth pasta, balanced tomato sauce, fresh crab, and chilli that provided a flavoursome fragrance rather than an overpowering punch.

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Grigliata – mixed grilled seafood – beautifully and simply done, as good quality seafood should be. Once again, a small serve, considering it was a main course and came with a $43 price tag.

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And to finish, ricotta canoli.  Not a great finish – pastry too thick and not as light and crisp as canoli I’m used to, and too much lemon in the ricotta.

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So the verdict – lovely surrounds, friendly staff, food with finesse and good flavours overall, but the serving sizes relative to price are disproportionate.  Italian food usually equates with generosity, and they need just a little more of it here.

Cucinetta, 103 Woolwich Rd Woolwich Ph (02) 9817 2125

Cucinetta on Urbanspoon