…also known as ‘The day I got married’ – also forever remembered as 30th April, 2012. The idea of having a large traditional wedding scared me. Being center of attention, surrounded by people, many of whom I probably wouldn’t be familiar with, and being forced to eat mass catering is not my idea of a dream scenario. That is how I came to be married at Cafe Sydney.
Cafe Sydney has a private dining room that can be hired for lunch. With stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and a personal private server provided for the room, it was perfect for an intimate and private wedding.
With minimal guests, the short ceremony was held on the balcony. Our celebrant Pauline Fawkner who I had booked via email was familiar with the venue, having had performed several weddings there previously.
The food at Cafe Sydney is a curious blend of Indian and European. Naan breads sit on the menu alongside sourdough rolls. Scallops sit on plates next to pickled vegetables, and rather than confit or sear ocean trout, Cafe Sydney has chosen to serve theirs tandoori roasted. All up it makes for a menu full of surprises.
Oysters and naan bread to begin, no photos unfortunately. I was still too excited by the notion that I was officially, legally, truly married, to focus and take pictures.
First up was the seared scallops. Served with pickled carrots, a sprinkling of quinoa, leaves of sorrel and crisp shards of pancetta, the pickled carrots added a sharp sour, almost chutney flavour to the dish. The carrots perhaps a touch undercooked; the pickles gave a new spin to the almost ubiquitous scallop dish almost added by default to so many restaurant menus.
I can’t comment on the the crab cakes, unfortunately. I was seated next to my mother who isn’t used to myself poaching food off others’ plates the way Duncan is.
I have quite the soft spot for duck. Truth be told, I should start choosing other forms of protein on the menu, but the softness of confit, made the duck hard to pass by. The duck was accompanied by a duck sausage, pearl barley and a beautifully rich and smooth jus. A grilled fig was sweetly caramelised, the only element lacking in the dish was maybe some greens to cut through the richness.
By dessert time we were all feeling the strain of the preceeding courses. My dress was feeling tight and I was strongly regretting having chosen to wear what can only be described as a modern-day corset that sucked my sides in and made breathing with a full stomach fairly unpleasant. Half the table went for the peanut butter parfait while the other half went for the dark chocolate terrine. I was firmly in the peanut butter parfait camp, having had my eye on that dessert ever since first booking the venue.
The peanut butter parfait was topped with a dusting of chocolate powder that sadly overpowered the flavour of the peanut butter parfait. The parfait itself and the chocolate ice cream on the side was beautifully smooth and creamy. The chunks of banana on the side had been wrapped in a pastry of some sort and dusted with cinnamon sugar, balancing out the bitterness from the cocoa powder. Shards of peanut toffee and caramelised peanuts added texture and crunch.
As I too busy hoovering up my own dessert, I missed any possible opportunity to swipe a spoonful of the dark chocolate terrine.
I loved having Cafe Sydney as my wedding venue. It was private and intimate and the food was lovely. Much better than any soggy steamed fish that would have been served had we gone the traditional route and opted for a mass wedding. It goes without saying that the service provided with the private dining room was perfect. Every need was attended to and quickly. The best part of the day? Being served first because I was wearing a wedding dress. Such luxury.