Friday, April 16, 2010

Hitting the high notes

There's an understanding of the trade-off that must happen with dining factors: food quality, price, views. As much as we want to, we can't seem to have our cakes and eat them too. Shame really - seems like a waste of cake.

Super hot days and dining out are never the most enjoyable of exercises, so I always make sure there's liquid refreshments nearby. They're a little pricey at Opera Bar, but there's live jazz on a Sunday afternoon and a view of some sort. Plus, you'll never know what kind of crowd there'll be: tourists, post-show, bridal parties - the possibilities are endless. Not quite the food menu, though. Choice is a little constrained and the prices are higher than I remembered. Nonetheless, one shouldn't drink on an empty stomach.

Chargrilled sirlon with cafe de Paris butter, gratin potatoes and broccoli from Opera Bar

The sirloin actually looks pretty good although this supercedes the actual eating of it. The steak is a bit on the thin side, a touch gristley and generally lacking beefiness. While the jus is nice and the butter flavoursome, the sides are a little sleepy and unexciting. Perhaps gazing at the passing ferries could add some liveliness to it.

Beer battered flathead fillets with chips and tartare sauce

The fish and chips are done quite well - the former better than the slightly overcooked latter though. The beer batter was crisp and kept the flathead fillets moist within. The cheesecloth-wrapped lemon half was an unexpected but appreciated touch, while one dish of tartare sauce for all those chips just isn't enough. Perhaps I'm just unusual in liking tartare on my chips - I'd even prefer it over aioli.

Rocket and parmesan salad with aged balsamic

Not sure my rocket obsession will ever go away, but I can justify it well by calling it part of the necessary vegetable quota - which it is. It's hard to go wrong with parmesan cheese shavings and balsamic vinegar.

Having eaten, the drinks keep coming for a while, making the most of the warm, rain-free afternoon. I'm not sure if the experience was diminished by the sweltering hot day or if I've just grown out of Opera Bar, but it just wasn't hitting the right notes on this visit. Perhaps a retuning is in order.

Opera Bar on Urbanspoon


Simon Food Favourites said...

that's a shame the food didn't quite deliver. i'll be there this weekend for some drinks so i'll have to think about if i'll eat there or somewhere else. thanks for sharing. it's the first time i've read the expression 'the sides are a little sleepy' hehe :-) maybe it was the heat that got to them?

Trissa said...

I like your very frank review. The steak actually looked pretty good but reading your review, I may steer clear from this next time I go....

Tina said...

Hi Simon - Hope you had a good weekend. It was particularly hot the afternoon I went.

Hi Trissa - Yeah, go for the drinks and view, I say :)

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

A shame to hear that your steak was so disappointing, especially given the prices at this end of town. Am loving the look of the fish and chips though. Yum!

Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

I'd prefer tartare over aoili too! At least you had the beautiful view to admire, despite the lacklustre food. I love the mojitos their though (from memory!) :D

Tina said...

Hi Helen - I'm loving thinking back about the fish and chips... :)

Hi Betty - Yes, and live music and sunshine... :)


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