Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bistro CBD, King Street, Sydney

Bistro CBD, King Street, Sydney

Wednesday 16 May, 2007

The spontaneous dinner venue often reveals a hidden gem. Tonight, I met up with my China buddy for a quick bite after work. Quick bite? Two and half hours later we were still enjoying our Cape Mentelle sav blanc semillion. Where did the time go?

We met on the corner of George & King Sts to decide which direction to go.......Chinatown, King St Wharf, Spanish Quarter? We glanced around and honed in on Bistro CBD. On arrival we walked into the crowded ground level bar that was packed to the rafters. Not keen to stick around we walked over to the lift well and went up to Level One. Bistro CBD secured one hat in the 2007 Good Food Guide and deserves more. The promotional blurb states,

Bistro CBD makes the most of its elevated first floor city location, with classic pillars and wide arched windows that give the restaurant an open, airy feel. Bistro CBD has been a firm Sydney dining favourite as an inner city lunchtime venue. The corporate diner expects exceptional quality, great ambiance, and great service all within the hour, and Bistro CBD delivers! For dinner it's a great starting point for an evening at the theatre, or a night out with good friends. Head Chef James Privett has become renowned for his menu that delivers French Bistro Classics with an inner city energy.

We were greeted by a lovely waiter and shown to a table by the window. The view was across the art deco Grace Hotel over the road and down to the hustle and bustle of peak hour below. The dining space was an oasis for us and the fit out is white, corporate and offering splashes of colour via their intriguing artwork - Picasso-esque.

After settling on the wine we reviewed the menu. It was very impressive but I could not go past the pan roasted pork loin with pancetta, potato cake and pistachio puree. My China buddy ordered the pan fried snapper fillet with crab croquettes and sweet corn puree. Not long after we ordered a complimentary cauliflower soup arrived in a miniature, delicate tea cup. It looked terrific however was a little too salty for me. Thick crusty bread also arrived with a dish of butter and was seriously delicious.

The mains were just sensational - I absolutely loved the combination of pork and pistachio. Every mouthful was an explosion of flavour. The pork loin was large - mildly crispy on the outside and very tender inside. I could not get enough of this dish. Just as impressed, my China buddy devoured her fish.

As we settled back, incredibly satisfied by our main meals, we learnt that they had taken the strawberry souffle off the menu. Not to be discouraged I ordered pear, chocolate and frangipane tart with whisky ice cream. Yes, that's correct........whisky ice cream. My China buddy opted for the highly recommended espresso crème brulee with fig and armagnac compote.

It's hard to believe that the food could get any better but the desserts seriously wowed us. The pear tart was served warm and the whisky ice cream (it was mild) melted into it. I savoured every spoonful. The brulee looked sensational and had layers of fig on the base.

We shared how impressed we were with the waiter and maitre'd and did not want to leave. This was an unexpected treat and I can't wait to return.

Bistro CBD - Level 1, 52 King Street, Sydney - (02) 8297 7010


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