Euro Taste Cafe, Top Ryde ($)

Address: Corner Devlin Street and Blaxland Road, Ryde NSW

Tel: (02) 9808 1268

Website: http://www.toprydecity.com.au/dining-a-entertainment/restaurants/item/eurotaste-cafe

Opening Hours: 

8am – 11pm – 7 days a week

* * *

MC and I had originally been hoping to go to Hurricanes in Top Ryde. However, once we got there we found that it was packed out and we would have to wait one hour to get a table.

We decided it definitely was not worth the wait and walked around the restaurants and cafes looking for somewhere to eat. I had already been to Kazbah before, had eaten at Red Spoon Thai in Castle Hill the night before, and had tried The Poets and Sushi Roll previously. We wanted something different and eventually we settled on Euro Taste.

Despite the name, Euro Taste appears to be run by Asians. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but just don’t expect very authentic European food.

The fare is the typical Italian style foods with classics including pizzas, pastas, schnitzel, steaks and grilled salmon.

Atmosphere

There were quite a few people around and the restaurant was busy but as it was a cold night and the only source of heating were the patio heaters, I think most people were just trying to get warm. Euro Taste doesn’t really have much indoor space, it’s mainly outdoors but covered with a pergola. It’s not too bad but some better insulation and cool music would help (listening to Get Lucky by Daft Punk now and thinking that some of this wouldn’t be amiss there :p).

Service

Service was OK. Our waitress didn’t say much and was a bit inattentive. I did notice a male waiter who was very helpful to both his own customers and to us when we needed something.

Food

There was a special deal where you could get a free garlic bread or garlic pizza and we decided to take advantage of it by ordering one of each.

While the garlic bread was pretty average, the garlic pizza was surprisingly good. Not surprisingly because it was garlic pizza (everyone knows that garlic pizza is amazing), but surprising because I didn’t expect this small and (to be honest) pretty cheap cafe to have such great garlic pizza. It was hot, cheesy (could always do with more though- especially around the edges), very garlicky and had a delicious soft base.

1

MC ordered the steak with Pepper Sauce – which was quite peppery. The steak was tasty and quite well cooked, although perhaps a little too well done to be medium-well.

2

My grilled salmon with chips and salad was delicious. The salmon was well cooked, hot and slightly buttery, if a little small. The salad was refreshing AND colourful on the plate and the chips were generous, well salted and crunchy.

3

Overall, a pretty good meal for under $50.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 7
  • Ambience- 6
  • Value –7.5

Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ, Potts Point ($$)

Address: 33/37 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point NSW

Tel: (02) 9368 7333

Website: http://sweetheartsbbq.com.au/

Open: 

Wednesdays to Sunday

* * *

Atmosphere

Sweethearts is a restaurant I stumbled across when searching for a place to go with some of my friends from work.  Eventually we ended up going somewhere with more variety but I always kept this place in the back of my head in case another opportunity arose to check it out.

2

After climbing about 7 (?) sets of stairs and getting a great thigh workout, we finally got to the bar. 

3

A lift would have been helpful but the one we saw out the back was only for staff.

The place isn’t as big as I had expected but has a cute holiday bar sort of vibe. The string lights, high wooden tables and old leather stools give it a sort of 70s beach bar feel to it.

5

Service

When we arrived, past the Backyard Cricket Rules at the door, we were greeted by a staff member who informed us that it was bar service, and we could sit at any table (despite the fact that I had made a reservation- apparently unnecessary on a Thursday night).

4

We ordered ciders (James Squire) as there was a $5 beer, wine, cider offer on that night between 4-7pm (woo who doesn’t love a long happy hour?).

1

When the others arrived, including Wallace (formerly known as Nic), and MDS, we ummed and ahhhed a bit over what to order.

7

I was really disappointed that the menu was not the same as the one online, and some of my other friends who had also had a look at the menu online, agreed. MDS even suggested going somewhere else for dinner, but eventually the group decided to stay and try it out.

6

Food

MDS, Nancy and I decided to share some dishes so we could try a few things out. Best decision ever as we got to taste a little of almost everything on the menu.

8

The soup tin table numbers.

Laura and Olga decided to go with the brisket sandwiches ($20.00), which came out as very cute looking sliders.

9

Emma ordered the garlic prawns ($30.00) with a vegetable skewer, while Borna and Wallace ordered the $15.00 special medium ribs.

MDS, Nancy and I ordered garlic bread (MDS’ favourite) to start with. While, it looks like Coles or Pizza Hut/Domino’s garlic bread, it was actually amazingly buttery, fresh and hot out of the oven and deliciously fragrant with herbs.

13

Next up we ordered the medium sized ribs for a special price of $15.  The ribs were lamb ribs, and when i tried to cut the bone off with my fork and knife, the meat just fell away and the bone came off clean. The sauce was sticky and rich, with a charred and smoky flavour.

I love citrus and the fresh lemon was great over the sweet ribs and added some colour to the plate.

10

The marinated vegetables were a bit of a disappointment for me. While there was a good mix of Mediterranean vegetables including zucchini, Spanish onion, tomato, capsicum and mushroom, the vegetables were a little too oily, and the serving was very miserly for $12. I think at least two skewers minimum would be needed to make this dish worthwhile.

While the salad was fresh and the aioli delicious (especially with the chips- see below), the dish overall was a let down.

11

Next up were the chicken skewers. This was basically the same situation as the vegetable skewers, While the chicken was well-cooked, juicy and flavoursome, there just wasn’t enough to justify charging $13 (you could buy over a kilogram of chicken breast for that price!). The pesto was chunky and tasty although perhaps a little slimy looking!

I loved the presentation of the sauces in cute little jars though.

12

Finally, we ordered a side of chips ($9.00) which were billed as “the world’s best chips”.  They were pretty good. I don’t know about “world’s best” but they were quite crunchy, thick cut, well salted and had a creamy taste. We dipped them into the aioli and pesto which made them even better!

14

Overall, good food, a bit pricey (especially the skewers- bit of a rip off!), but a cute chilled atmosphere. Would be great for long afternoons in summer.

The menu thing was a little disappointing, maybe it’s a weekend menu on the website? If so, I think the weekday menu should be on there as well as it was a little misleading for us.

Cost

MDS, Nancy & I paid about $22 each for our meals (not including drinks).

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 7
  • Food- 7.5
  • Ambience- 6
  • Value – 5.75

Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ on Urbanspoon

Opera Bar, Sydney Opera House ($$)

Address: Sydney Opera House, Lower Concourse level, Sydney

Tel: (02) 9247 1666

Website: http://www.operabar.com.au/

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Source: http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com

To celebrate my graduation, a bunch of friends and I had Friday night drinks at Opera Bar. I had never been before, my previous plans to visit this stunning bar having always been ruined by poor weather.

Atmosphere

While Sydney had experienced a warm 31 degree (C) day, the afternoon was much cooler. The bar was suitably packed out for a Friday night, and we found it difficult to find a seat or table, so we eventually retreated to the indoor area of the bar and found a “Dining Only” table.

The atmosphere was great with so many people ready for a fun Friday night out. There was live music (a singer and guitarist outside), and cute tea light candles on the tables.

Service

It was hard to get any service or attention at all as it was so busy. The food had to be ordered from the bar, which was constantly packed. We had to wait for 5-10 minutes in line to get to the bar and then ordered and paid for our food and were given a number.

The food did come out quite quickly however, within about 15- 20 minutes, which was surprising considering how busy it was! When it did eventually come out, the waiters simply placed it on our table, took our number away and left, without speaking barely a word to us.

Food

We decided to have dinner before the others arrived as we were very hungry, and ordered a few dishes to share between two.

Prawn popcorn with spicy jalapeno sauce, $16.00

The prawn popcorn was something I hadn’t tried before. It wasn’t very crispy, as popcorn chicken or actual popcorn should be, but it was quite delicious. The prawns were cooked well and the batter wasn’t too heavy. The jalapeno sauce had a little kick to it, without being too overpowering or spicy. There were about 10-12 prawns in the serving.

Beef sausage, sweet peppers, artichoke pizza, $19.00

This pizza had a wonderfully light and crispy crust. It was easy to eat and came in a medium-sized portion.

Mixed green beans with miso and sesame dressing, $10.00

An interesting dish indeed! I am a big fan of snow peas and crunchy green beans. I also love miso soup, so I thought I should try out this dish instead of going for the usual chips or wedges as a side! The beans were blanched probably, and retained their bite. There was a scattering of sesame seeds, but the sesame flavour wasn’t very noticeable. The miso soup paste was quite strong however, and added a salty flavour to the dish. I would definitely recommend trying it.

Toasted baguette, with herb, garlic and parmesan seasoning, $7.00

Everyone loves garlic bread and what better combination than pizza and GB? This bread was crunchy and warm, drenched in butter and fragrant with the smell of various herbs and garlic. Delicious!

Cost:

Overall the meal cost us just $52.00.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):

      • Service- 2
      • Food- 7
      • Ambience- 8
      • Value – 6.5

Opera Bar on Urbanspoon