The Strand’s Pendolino remains a corporate favourite while younger sibling, La Rosa Bar and Pizza at the other end of the building, takes a more casual approach to eats and service. Pendolino maintained its 1-hat status in this year's awards and remains the height of fine Italian dining in the CBD – all double-clothed tables and visits from the sommelier.
|Complimentary bread from Pendolino, The Strand, Sydney|
If I were able to resist even just one of the three breads – the white sourdough, olive-oil brushed schiacciata or the fennel seed topped sourdough – I might have fared better with my main meal and subsequently might have had space for dessert. Lesson learnt, but my, that is some good bread and oil.
|Burrata Pugliese con insalata di rape rosse|
While I could easily eat mozzarella as is, the cabernet vinegar and Ligurian honey dressing added a sweet-sour flavour component of the salad.
Tuna with tonnato tuna dressing was an interesting proposition, though the dressing was not so much fishy as lightly and appropriately acidic, while the abundance of Sicilian baby capers took care of saltiness.
|Controfilletto di manzo al Sangiovese con pastanaca|
The whole roasted pearl garlic, still in its skin, with kipfler potatoes gave it a posh Sunday roast feel, while the finishing touch was a sauce of Sangiovese red wine.
|Tagliatelle di farro con ragu di guancia di maiale all’Aglianico|
The abundant, softly braised pork belly pieces, and harder-to-differentiate pork cheek, almost comprised a meal in itself, not to mention the generous tangle of fresh tagliatelle, made from farro.
|Rocket, parmesan and pear salad|
As I pushed the pork around the plate, it was a sad realisation that I wouldn’t be having dessert with this dinner. An entrée and my main pasta selection, and not to forget the bread, was more than enough for an ample appetite. I’ll be sure to revisit this oversight on another visit to Pendolino if fortunes swing my way.