Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Caliniere - Sydney

After being turned away from the busy restaurant 'Mamak' on a Monday night, our hungry crew of five trekked up the road to World Square where we faced yet another dilemma - Thai? Italian? or Cafe?

After one friend expressed their unwillingness to do Italian that night, and yet another groaned about eating Thai every week, the cafe was the obvious choice.

Hence, Caliniere it was and we settled ourselves in the corner.

Caliniere cafe - World Square

My vegetarian friend ordered the spinach and ricotta tortellini ($12) cooked in creamy mushroom sauce. As his was the first dish to come out, and originally wanted to wait til everyone else had food (but unsuccessfully so, as the dishes came out so unprofessionally spursed out), it was cold when he got around to eating it. When I asked him how it tasted, he repeatedly (and grudgingly) complained that he really ought to have ordered the turkish bread. So, I guess that this average looking dish just wasn't up to scratch.

spinach and ricotta tortellini - $12

Coming at the same time as the tortellini was the steak and mushroom pie ($13). This received slightly better comments than my vegetarian friend's dish. This comprised of beef cooked in a mushroom and red wine sauce, served with a nice glop of mashed potatoes and pastry bits. It also comes with a nice little bowl of salad. I thought that there wasn't enough crusty pastry bits to fully enjoy the bowl of sauce, but my friend was satisfied.

steak and mushroom pie - $13

Then after quite a long while, my grilled chicken breast ($12) came, topped with mushroom sauce and bottomed with creamy mashed potatoes. The chicken itself wasn't as tender as I would have liked, but the sauce made up for it. The mushroom sauce was extremely creamy buttery and better than most other mushroom sauces I've had. Like the pie, it was also complemented with a little bowl of salad.

Grilled Chicken Breast - $12

Close up of my chicken in mushroom sauce.

Again, after quite some time came the gigantically enormous club sandwich ($13) along with my friend's favourite - ie. chips. In this sandwich (which barely fit into my friend's mouth) was chicken breast, bacon, poached egg, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and mayo. In another words, super big (and kind of nutritious), and a good value for money. Not surprisingly, it received two thumbs up from my picky-eater friend.

club sandwich - $13

Long after my vegetarian friend finished his pasta, the home-made beef burger finally ($12) arrived. And yes, service is lacking in this place. Nonetheless, according to my friend, the juicy homemade beef patty complete with caramelised onions, lettuce and tomatoes trapped between a damper-like bun was well worth the wait. Specially, it came with BOTH chips and salad. So, the waiting-time aside, it's probably a delicious bargain.

homemade beef burger - $12

Close up of the cheap feed.

Oh, and we ordered a side of wedges ($5) which is so nicely seasoned, crispy on the outside and fluffily potatoed on the inside. Yum!

seasoned potato wedges - $5

Service and wait-time aside, the food is delicious (exept the ravioli) and amazingly cheap for the quality. But having said that, a good look around the cafe found most people to simply be sipping on drinks. Oh well, they don't know what they're missing out on.

Food - 7/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 27/40

Caliniere (cafe)
World Square Level Piazza,
Shop 17-18, Liverpool St
Sydney CBD, NSW
Tel: (02) 9264 3661

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