VERDE – East Sydney 0

December 17, 2010

UPFRONT APOLOGY: Each and every picture is COMPLETELY blurry, fuzzy, DODGY. NO – I was not highly intoxicated but rather UBER excited to be with ma gal pals ANDDDDDDDDDD, the iphone takes HORRID pics if the lighting is unforgiving, which it was.

I loved school. Honestly. I really, really, really had a great time there. I spent pretty much EVERY day laughing uncontrollably and getting up to all sorts of mischief. At the time, I knew I was on a good wicket but I DEFINITELY didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. Looking back, they really were the good ol’ days.

Since leaving, although I am most definitely in touch with heaps of the gals from school, you know, facebook, chrissy cards, Skype sessions here and there, it’s not often that we are ALL in the one country, ALL able to get babysitters, ALL able to leave work early, ALL able to shove everything to the side and have a night out….so when we do IT IS REALLY EXCITING! Ha! Well for me anyway!

Last night, in order to celebrate the fact that our good mate C was here from Hong Kong, a group of us got together and had dinner at Verde in Surry Hills. We had a very fun night with plenty of laughs, even if, as C said, they were at the expense of others (you can take the girl out of high school but you can’t take the high school out of some girls!!!!)

SO – On to the review…..

The minute C sent the email telling us to lock in the 16th for dinner I was tres excited. I knew we’d have a great night no matter where we went. When C landed in Sydney and the venue was chosen and booked, I became even MORE excited as I would be going to a place that not only hadn’t I been to before, but I’d never even heard of. !!!!Research session alert!!!! This fact alone gave me permission to spend hourrrrrrrrrrrs, (ok maybe just 1 hour) scouring the net, reading reviews, checking out the menu etc All of the things that I love doing!

The general consensus among those who had dined here before was that the food was haym but the service was far less than haym. Let me just say right now before I go into further detail, I DISAGREE.

Predictably, parking in E.Syd was a NIGHTMAREEEEEEEEEEEEE. But, like an oasis, JUST as I had commenced swearing, a parking station appeared around the corner, and for $15 my sanity was restored. From the street, Verde looks very ‘London’. I don’t have time to elaborate on that statement. For those of you who know what I mean, I’m glad, for the rest of you, I’m sorry.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a couple of very friendly waitresses who took us to our table where poor S and L had been waiting for the rest of us! By the time we had all arrived and said our hello’s and congrats’ on all the milestones we’d missed in the flesh in eachothers lives, I think the staff were keen for us to place our orders! I must say though, at no time were they pushy or rude. Yee haw! Service points building up….

Apart from the dishes that appeared on the menu, we had several other options to choose from, The specials were abundant and were written across tinted mirrors in bold writing, easy for everybody to see. lovin’ the dark , woody, mirrored, softly lit interior of this joint….

For Entree, we decided to share a few options…..We went for the Arancini Balls with Grape Tomato Salsa (crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle, perfect size – TICK), the Zucchini flowers filled with Ricotta and Spinach (very lightly battered, smooth and well seasoned mixture – TICK) and the Bruschetta of Tomato, Red Onion and Basil (yummity yum yum yum, as bruschetta well made always is – TICK.)




As I said above, entrees were a triple tick, and the fourth tick goes to the speed at which they were delivered.

For mains, between the lot of us, we had the Pan Fried Barramundi with Steamed Spinach, Celery, Parsley and Green Lentils (I had this, I cried as I ate it. Again, PERFECTLY seasoned, and I note this because SEASONING IS EVERYTHING), Roasted Pork Cutlet, Broad Beans, Tomato Salsa and Crackling (I didn’t try this but I welled up just LOOKING AT IT, probably the prettiest of the mains), Snapper with Saffron Parpadelle (can’t remember what else was on this dish, it was one of the specials, a couple of the girls had this, and a few more WANTED to have it but the kitchen had run out, my friend J said she enjoyed it overall, but that her “fish was as dry as an old boot”) and finally, the Linguine Marinara with Prawns, Vongole and Barramundi (again, I didn’t eat it, but there were smiles all around, it was a gorgeously generous serving and it smelled tremendous!) MORE TICKS ON THE MAINS!





Another C, not the HK one, decided on 2 entrees instead of a main, the Beef Carpaccio with Garlic Aioli, Beetroot and Watercress (looked pretty as a picture and unless she calls me up to say otherwise I believe she enjoyed it immensely!) and also the Potato and Parsley Fritters (4 per serve, quite chunky monkey and again, smelled delicious!)



Side note: As Bubba had celebreated her Christening the week before I had a trillion extra bonbonieres of pink sugared almonds that I knew would go down a treat, I bought them along and scattered them on the table – ahhhhh pretty……then whilst digesting our mains and contemplating dessert, we gobbled them all up!

A couple of the girls shared the  Crumble of Apple and Cinnamon with Caramelised Almonds for dessert. It was possibly the  highlight of the evening for me, even though I only had a mouthful. One word РGEESUS!

Can I chuck on to the end of this review that an open kitchen in any restaurant scores bonus points with me – not just ’cause I love watching all the action, but it just says to me “we have nothing to hide, come in look in, check it out, don’t be scared, even when we’re angry we don’t put your steak in the bin to marinate it before giivng it to you”. GO VERDE! GO VERDE! GO! GO! GO! VERDE!

As I said at the beginning, I disagree with all the reviews I read that said ace food, dodgerama service, I thought BOTH the food and the service were BLOODY TOPS!

Oh and A, don’t worry about not having enough FB friends, I can get you up to 600 by Sunday if you really want me to!

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1 Liz H { 12.19.10 at 8:32 pm }

Such a fun night, loved it!

2 phoodie { 12.19.10 at 8:41 pm }

Come on Paddington Blogger! I want to start reading!!

3 Ange D { 12.24.10 at 6:27 am }

Great night!! Have you done any reviews for restaurants around Darling Harbour?!!

4 phoodie { 12.24.10 at 8:05 am }

Not yet! I have plenty of places there that I would like to try but too busy! You and your boy could go there and then let me know how they were!?

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