On Saturday, I went in to Darling Harbour for the Reed Gift Fair, a trade event, for my craft business, Cassis Craft. After an exhausting, brain exploding day, Greg and the girls came in to pick me up and to enjoy an early dinner out in the city.
While waiting for them, I wanted something refreshing and light so I plonked my blistered and tired feet in the Bayside Lounge at about 3.30pm. I thought a nice glass of mineral water, a coffee and a snack would be fabulous. Well, the snack was near impossible as they close the kitchen at 4pm (the trade fair is on until 6pm yet they still closed) so I opted for the parmesan and rocket salad with balsamic dressing. It was quite nice, with a good serving of cheese but the dressing was a little sweet for my liking.
I'm an espresso drinker and it's fascinating how few places can produce a good one. You would think that since this is the base of all coffees, then it would be quite simple. I have been served long blacks, asked to explain what it is, had the crema poured off and even questioned why I wouldn't like milk in it! When this one arrived with what looked like a little glass of water, I was quite excited as traditionally, that is how it should be served. After drinking my quite nice, slightly bitter (as I like it) coffee, I nearly spat the contents of the glass out over the table! It was lemonade! Who serves lemonade with a coffee??? As for the service and trying to pay my bill, I could have walked out without paying and none of the staff would probably have noticed.
By that time, my beautiful family had arrived with some different shoes for me so we offloaded my catalogue laden bags in the car and went for a wander around and looked for somewhere for dinner. There are so many options at Darling Harbour so we perused the menus, looked at what others were eating and finally decided on Passello, an Italian restaurant with a head waiter with a lovely smile. :)
To keep it simple, we ordered garlic bread and marinated olives for starters and 2 pizzas for main. Greg had a Peroni beer, I had a glass of sparkling wine and of course, the girls had water.
To start, the drinks took ages to come and it wasn't busy. To say the strawberry served on the rim of my champagne glass was should not have been allowed past the counter is an understatement. The second one wasn't much better and she obviously had trouble cutting it! Greg's beer at $8.50 on the menu was rip off as it was one of those International beers with the International label but brewed under licence here in Australia. How restaurants get away with classing it as an International beer then I do not know or understand.
|Dodgy Strawberry #1|
|Dodgy Strawberry #2|
The garlic bread and olives were nice, nothing out of this world though.
Before the plates had even been cleared, the pizzas arrived so Greg helped clear the plates to an adjacent table. We had the Passello Special and the Frutti di Mare. The Frutti di Mare was lovely and the fresh tomato and basil were lovely. The Passello Special wasn't so special but nice. The crusts were lovely and thin and crunchy :)
|Frutti di Mare|
While not blown away by the experience, it was lovely to be eating alfresco and somewhere other than the usual local haunts. We did notice during the night that the food must have been very salty as we were all up having drinks of water and experiencing weird dreams! Not sure we'd go again but given the number of restaurants down there, probably don't need to!