Arriving back in Sydney after our week in Coffs Harbour, we were taken out to dinner by a friend Mr. Time Dealer, who was in Sydney for business. Our destination was Pendolino restaurant, located in the historic Strand Arcade in Sydney.
We were a little early for dinner so sat in the outside area of the restaurant and enjoyed a glass of prosecco. At 6 we were taken in to our table. I was quite surprised at the size of the restaurant, I hadn’t realised how much area was available in The Strand. The restaurant stretches along the George Street side of the building. The lighting was dimmed, exposed brick walls were on 3 sides of the room, the fourth lined with shelves of Italian and local wines; cast iron scroll work, dark woods, Bentwood chairs all gave a relaxed and casual feel. Surprsingly for a Monday night the restaurant was very busy.
First job was choosing some wine. I was given the task, but being unsure I consulted the sommelier on the two I had chosen and we went with my number two choice of Tenuta Gorghi Tondi, Coste A Preola, Nerro d’Avola from Sicily. Wow, not too heavy, very easy to drink and with lots of character and flavour. Nice to try something new and different that really excites you. The sad part is we haven’t found a bottle shop in Sydney that sells it.
For entree Mr. CA4G and Mr. Time Dealer, both had the Alba style free-range raw beef carpaccio with truffled white walnut puree, Testun di Barolo cheese, rocket cress, wild baby olives and handmade rosemary grissini. Testun Di Barolo cheese is cheese that has had the grapes that have been pressed to make Barolo wine, pressed onto the cheese surface during maturation.
I went a bit vegetarian and had Beetroot salad with burrata, fresh mint, beetroot jelly, crisp breadcrumbs, Pendolino Aceto Secco Vinegar and King Island Ligurian honey dressing. Burrata is one of my favourite Italian cheeses and is similar to a mozzarella but with a lovely, soft, almost liquid centre. And I love beetroot in any form and this dish had baby beetroot in 2 colours!
For mains the guys both chose the same dish again, Ten hour slow cooked British breed beef, parsnip puree, grilled green shallots, pearl garlic, amarena sour cherry sauce. They seemed to enjoy it very much, and told me how soft and well cooked the beef was.
Mr. CA4G knew what I was going to have before I finished choosing the wine. He knows I love a slow cooked pork belly and there it was on the menu, Milk braised pork belly with house made pork belly, sage & pistachio sausage, warm fava and controne bean salad. Pork belly and beans yum! The whole dish was very flavoursome and delicious.
As we were having a great time we decided to have some dessert. The guys again followed each other and ordered Black chocolate millefeuille with blackcurrant and blackberry sorbet, blackberry sauce. When it came out I was amazed to see that the pastry layers had been made with chocolate. I think they liked because they were rather quiet while they ate it.
I went for the Blood orange olive oil ricotta fritters with “Fior di Latte” vanilla sorbet. The aroma as this was bought to the table was absolutely amazing. The orange and orange blossom scent was a pleasure to smell while I ate.
After a fantastic meal it was time to say goodnight to Mr. Time Dealer and stretch our legs a little before heading our seperate ways. I look forward to visiting Pendolino again in the future, although I may only have one course to help the waistline.