Circular Quay: bel mondos

Gloucester Walk
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone:(02) 9241 3700
Opening hours: Friday hours 12:00pm–3:00pm, 6:00pm–10:00pm
http://www.belmondo.com.au/

Given the reputation of bel mondos, I was a bit disappointed. There was nothing terrible about the venue or the food, but by the same token, there was not anything distinctly memorable either. I went with a large group, and we ordered a set alternate course menu. I found the decor and lighting all very pleasant. The lights were slightly dimmed, the open aired balcony is a lovely touch, and the warm wooden tones and open kitchen all made me felt very relaxed at ease. The staff all come across well informed about the food, pleasant, observant, fast and efficient. The canapes were a mixed bag. The asparagus wrapped with prosciutto and served with aioli was not bad but the sauce had no depth to it. The arancini balls were fresh and hot from the kitchen with a nice crunch on the outside and tasty cheese and rice interior. The goats cheese tarts I thought needed a bit more bite.

The entrees were not great. I don’t know if it was just my table, but they were all stone cold. The prawns were quite clearly not meant to be cold. However they were well presented and the salad looked bright and delicate. The risotto though, looked stodgy with a dry crust, when it should have looked wet and fresh. The pan fried chicken breast with brocollini and gravy was my main. The gravy was oddly grainy and the chicken breast was erring on the side of being a tad dry. Not great. But the brocollini was tender and well cooked. The dessert I had was the strawberry panna cotta. It was mediocre, a bit like eating a strawberry gelatin set mouse. It did not have the proper smooth and light consistency of a good panna cotta. I did think the freeze dried icing/cream was an interesting texture against the panna cotta and strawberries.

Overall, it was not a bad meal and the ambiance and service were good, but I don’t think I would return in a hurry.

value for money: 5/10
food: 5/10
service: 7/10
ambience: 7/10
overall score: 24/40
$$$

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