Cafe del Mar | Darling Harbour

Zomato hosted a "meet up" for a handful of bloggers and we were lucky enough to be invited to dine at Cafe Del Mar. It is the perfect place for people to chill-out after work or if you book early enough, why not book your celebrations at Cafe Del Mar? We could not think of a better way to celebrate a joyous occasion than enjoying a drink on the open deck during sunset. If that doesn't sell you on this establishment, have a look at the below snapshots which show how elegant and formal this restaurant is decorated. 






Appetizers
We were treated to a selection of appetizers to prepare the taste buds for the mains.
Café Del Mar-Tini
Ciroc Coconut Vodka, House Pineapple Reduction, Basil, Lime, Toasted Coconut Shavings
This was a signature martini, unique to only Cafe Del Mar. It was pleasant and really easy to drink! Everyone was drinking these like it was water, but to top it off they look great too! I shared one with Matt and decided to have another one for myself later in the evening. Coming from someone who doesn't drink many alcohol, you know this must be good.

Asahi and Lemon Lime and Bitters
Who doesn't love an ice cold beer on a hot summer's eve? 

‘Monte Christo’
Fried ciabatta sandwich, Jamon Serrano, manchego, mustard fruits
Jamon Serrano is a type of Spanish cured ham. It is quite salty and has a more intense flavour than that of prosciutto. Inside the Jamon, was a type of goat's cheese called Manchego. It had a very bold and refined flavour, quite similar to pecorino cheese. These snacks matched perfectly with a chilled beer surprisingly.

Crisp Pork Jowls ‘cigars’ wrapped in brik pastry, truffle aioli
This was definitely our favourite starter. The both of us went back for seconds (or thirds)! This appetizer was literally dripping with oil, and tasted like oil as well which is right down our alley way. The pork was really tender and the aioli finished the dish up perfectly. Give us a plate of these and we would be content for the rest of the night! Although, it is definitely not the healthiest option.. so we really had to limit ourselves!

Watermelon, marinated Persian feta, Jamon Serrano
Surely this is a much healthier version than the crisp pork jowls? When I saw watermelon on the menu I thought WHAT? I must try this! It was an unusual combination but surprisingly it worked.. We were so surprised that this combination worked that we had to go back for another try. The rich salty flavour from the Jamon and the feta cheese counterbalanced well with the sweet watermelon. Probably not the most enjoyable appetizer on the menu, but it is definitely worth tasting!

Mains
We were then ushered inside where we found some delicious mains sitting there, waiting for us to dig in. There was lamb and seafood, so there was a wide variety to choose from.

Chermoula crusted, slow cooked pastoral ‘Murrylands’ lamb shoulder, salsa verde 
The lamb was quite literally peeling away from the bone, almost flaking away. This is evident that it had been cooking for more than 8 hours, sitting there marinating in it's own juices and basting to truly bring out the best flavours. The salsa verde complimented the whole dish well, as it introduced an element of mint... and we all know that how well lamb and mint go together! It was served with a side of potato fries.


Bouillbaise seafood stew for two

barramundi, half shell scallops, black mussels, Balmain bugs and surf clams, lightly poached in a crab broth with binje potatoes, rouille and toasted sourdough 
Christie being the designated seafood eater had to try some.The broth was clear and sweet, the mussels were cooked well and the scallops were light and creamy in texture. It was served with a rouille dip and sourdough bread to soak up the broth.

Roast butternut pumpkin, marinated artichokes, crisp polenta, goats cheese mousse, pinenuts and sage burnt butter
We took a quick snapshot of one of the vegetarian dishes and it looked amazing! We love polenta, so we may try this the next time we dine at Cafe Del Mar!

Desserts
Below are chefs selection of desserts, including what was our favourite dessert of the night, a vanilla slice with shaved apple slices to compliment. This dessert was the highlight of the night as it left you with a sweet after taste of Cafe Del Mar. It basically summed up the whole night in one dish, how perfect the evening was and the quality of the food.




The cheese platter wasn't as much of a hit as the dessert plate. It contained Machego cheese, French La Vic cheese and an Italian Da Leggio cheese which was our clear favourite. 

Espresso Martini
Vanilla-infused Ciroc Vodka, Mr Black Co
Talk about a strong cocktail. This dessert cocktail is meant for small sips, and not big gulps like Matt found out the hard way. It was really sweet, so perfect for those with a sweet tooth. I could see myself enjoying one of these with a side of ice cream!


We stayed there till late, and as you can see the venue really changes at night. Everything lights up and the whole venue becomes really lively, yet still elegant!



A very special thank you to one of the wait staff, Veronica for sitting with us throughout the night to explain each of the dishes. Your passion for food is truly evident and we hope you succeed with your dreams. Another thank you to both Zomato and Cafe Del Mar for hosting such a wonderful event, we went home thinking how perfect this venue would be for our wedding function! 
We hope to possibly use your services in the future!

 

Cafe del Mar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato