Every now and then, the Welshman and I find ourselves with a few hours to ourselves. We could spend the time diligently tidying the garage, or reorganising the Tupperware. Perhaps catalogue the DVDs or colour code the cookbooks.
We could even just hang out at home by ourselves. But no …
Our favourite thing to do is have a lunch date. In some ways, a lunch date is more romantic than an evening dinner date. Especially for parents.
If you can organise your child’s social life, you don’t have to pay a babysitter, and you can hang out together without being too sleepy to enjoy each other’s company. No staying up past your bed time (important when your offspring will still wake you at 6am with no regards as to hangovers or 4 hours sleep). Plus if you’re lucky you can even factor in views or a nice post prandial wander.
The Welshman and I found ourselves in this position recently, when Boyo had a birthday party one afternoon. Kid free! We booked a table at Cafe del Mar in Cockle Bay Wharf (used to be Coast once upon a time).
One of my favourite albums when I was pregnant was Cafe del Mar Aria. I discovered it at my beauticians and fell for the soothing, calming chillout music that didn’t feature the typical wishy washy whale sounds and hideous panflutes. Cafe del Mar Sydney is as close as I’m getting to the Ibiza icon that is Cafe del Mar.
A long lunch with cocktails and champagne is more my party style nowadays.
I glammed up for my lunch date at Cafe del Mar in a style the Welshman insisted referring to as “safari glam”. He’s lucky he is good looking.
My gorgeous Three Parsons Zebra Essential Dress was gifted to me from Three Parsons, and is the perfect combination of comfort, warmth, flattering cut and glamour. Teamed with navy opaque leggings from Flower Clothing, a reversible faux fur vest by DECJUBA, and my beloved old Country Road Chelsea boots, and a pretty rose gold and marble necklace from Blush & Co. Click here to read more about my Winter Luxe outfit.
We started the lunch off in style – champagne and cocktail style, of course! We selected a bottle of Pelorus, one of our local favourities. As for the cocktail, the Cafe del Mar-tini was the obvious choice. A delicious concoction of Ciroc Coconut Vodka, house pineapple reduction, basil, lime and toasted coconut shavings. The delightful French waiter also told me it contained sugar syrup because “the ladies like it sweet”.
As I raised the glass to my mouth, the scent of the fresh basil enveloped me, before I tasted the mouthgasm combination of herbal basil and coconut with an underlying pineapple sassiness. Can you tell I adored this cocktail?
Next up, the food! The Welshman and I shared two entrees – flash fried baby prawns with kale and chilli (Kimba-friendly menu alteration from jalapeño mayonnaise) and buffalo mozzarella with zucchini three ways, mint and roast walnuts. So good that I could have actually just eaten the entire zucchini dish, with a handful of prawns, and been extremely happy.
The Welshman heartily enjoyed his main of suckling pig, red cabbage and onion marmalade, with star anise roasted pear. Due to my food allergies, I plumped for the dry aged Angus rib eye, served with rocket and perfect French fries. Steak frite for the win!
Melt in your mouth awesomeness with a perfectly crisped edge, the rib eye was to die for. Even between us, we couldn’t finish it – although I certainly tried my best!
Our waiter decanted a bottle of red for the Welshman, whilst I enjoyed the domestic champagne.
Now, I know you’re waiting for the most important part of our meal – the dessert!
It is rare that I find a dessert menu that I love as much as the Cafe del Mar dessert menu. Now, did I mention Cafe del Mar-tini and champagne? I did? Great. That explains why I can’t remember any of the dessert options and why I forgot to snap a quick reminder photo of the dessert menu.
Chocolate mousse, coffee granita, mascarpone and Florentine wafer. Oh my gods! Deliciousness. The chocolate mousse was rich and thick, and flecked with chocolate. Perfectly combined with the whipped mascarpone for a luxe dessert, and complemented by the chocolate orange wafer. The coffee granita just added to the extravaganza by adding some rich bitterness to the flavour combination. A bit like the dessert version of one of my favourite styles of dressing – tough pretty.
The decor is Ibiza glam with a tented ceiling, banquette seating and luxe finishes. Darling Harbour views and statuary complete the glam style. There was great people watching too – an uber glam formal engagement party, as well as a couple on their first date were seated near us. The poor bloke was looking a bit anxious when she was running late, but it seemed to go smoothly!
I would recommend Cafe del Mar Sydney for a lunch date for a couple, or a double date. For groups of 10 or more, a set menu is the only option. This isn’t always a great idea for people like me with dietary requirements.
We were perfectly looked after, with charm and panache. The awkwardness of my food allergy needs were catered for professionally and smoothly. The meals were delicious and well prepared. And the Cafe del Mar-tini? Did I mention that already? Absolutely worth the visit alone!
Have you eaten at Cafe del Mar Sydney? Have you watched the sun go down whilst listening to chillout music? Perhaps at the original Cafe del Mar?
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