Lunching at Caffe Dante, Sydney CBD

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hands up if you have been out and about shopping, and suddenly realise you're starving and it's way past lunchtime? You find yourself getting hangry while wandering around to find somewhere to stop, then resort to an underwhelming eatery that was most convenient because, really, you just needed to satisfy your stomach. It's a situation I can say I have faced a few times, partly due to a lack of planning. But, fear no more, I may have found the perfect place to stop for a mid-shop break in the city. 

Tucked away on the first floor of Mid City in Pitt Street Mall, it is a calm oasis away from the midday crowds - the perfect place to stop for a shopping break. It's not very easy to see from the street, and I didn't know it was there until I was invited to a Zomatomeetup held at the restaurant recently. It accessible either by taking the escalators up from George Street, or walking through Uniqlo from Pitt Street Mall. The cafe is furnished in dark brown décor, with an Italian-inspired menu that details cafe classics like burgers, salads and steak sandwiches, alongside pastas and baguettes. 

The big windows flood the space with natural light during the day, allowing you to watch the world below tick by while you enjoy your meal or coffee. On the weekday we visit, the dining crowd is a mix of office workers and leisurely shoppers having lunch.

 Mango and lime smoothie ($7.50)

You can't really go wrong with a mango smoothie. This has a good balance of mango and citrus, and is smooth and creamy rather than icy. 

Baby spinach & quinoa salad ($16.50)
A green goddess salad of spinach, avocado and quinoa salad is flecked with almond flakes and has a vibrant, creamy dressing that makes it feel like you're eating more than just limp salad greens. It's light but tasty, and a rubble of quinoa adds body along with the meaty avocado. 

Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad ($16.90)
It's hard to go wrong with a classic salad combination of baked pumpkin, beetroot and feta. All of the menu items here are quite substantial portions, and this is no exception. 

Open Steak Sandwich ($19.90)
This substitutes the conventional top piece of bread with a generous side of roasted baby potatoes, constructed open sandwich style. On top of a bed of lettuce sits tomato, caramelised onion, then a tender piece of steak followed by mushroom, melted cheese and a squirt of paprika aioli. Despite being a little hard to deconstruct, it's a very satisfying steak sandwich and I especially love the meatiness of the mushrooms paired with the sweet caramelised onion. It's best tackled with a knife and fork. 

Dante Chicken Burger ($18.90)
This chicken burger an absolute winner. The fragrant grilled chicken breast fillet is extremely tender, sandwiched with lettuce, tomato and bacon in a slightly sweet brioche bun. The lime chilli aioli ensures that the burger is not too dry, and is what makes it so moreish and tasty. The fries on the side are good, with both a satisfying golden crunch and adequate amount of fluffiness. 

Seared tuna nicoise ($21.90)

This salad is another favourite of the day. A meaty tuna steak is seared to a blushing pink, roughly cut and strewn atop boiled herby potatoes, green beans, tomato, olives and salad leaves. A poached egg on top replaces the traditional boiled variety, which spills its runny yolk over the warm salad and melds with the homemade creamy dressing. This has all the goodness of a salad with the added luxury of fresh tuna.    

 Meatball Fettuccine ($21.90)
Meatball Fettuccine is rustic and comforting, sprinkled with a dusting of parmesan that melts away into the same deep red sauce that coats every strand of pasta. Perfect for those times when you feel like something warming and classic. 

 King Prawn Fettucine ($22.90)
I love a good prawn pasta, and I must say that this does not disappoint. It's coated in that same thick, sweet tomato sauce, with a touch of chilli that gives a nice bite. The garlic prawns are plump and meaty; even better with a squeeze of lemon.

Mediterranean meatballs ($21.90)
Four cute, ping pong-sized balls are laid over a smear of minted yoghurt around a mound of fluffy, colourful rice. Soft triangles of warm pita are laid on top; it's a nice touch to have both bread and rice to accompany the meat. The rice is dotted with flecks of coriander, and is coloured yellow, while the slightly spicy meatballs are delicious when paired with the cooling yoghurt and fresh coriander. Wrap it all up in a piece of pita for the ultimate kebab-style lunch. 

Caffé Dante has options for everyone, whether you're looking for a morning coffee meeting, mid-shopping snack (wedges or homemade dip of the day, anyone?) or a more substantial meal. As well as larger mains, pastas, risottos and salads, there is also a range of baguettes, gourmet sandwiches and wraps should you prefer something a little lighter. Everything here is generously-sized, so you can be assured that you'll leave feeling more than satisfied. 

I was lucky enough to dine as a guest, however all opinions are my own.


Caffe Dante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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