About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Lemon Tree (Sydney CBD)

The Lemon Tree is conveniently located right under Australia Square, smack in the city centre. As a matter of fact it is walking distance from Wynyard station and I had the opportunity to check it out over two visits.

I like the look of the little restaurant, it had an alfresco feel to it and certainly reminded me of the southern part of Italy. Which is exactly what was intended. The cuisine is intended to reflect the southern part of Italy and the decor of white chairs, tables and an open air atmosphere certainly does add to the vibe.

On my first visit it was lunch time and we arrived just after noon and managed to grab a table at the bar side, i.e. high chairs with a high table. The menu is quite limited and kept deliberately simple.

There is the Bar section with dishes such as Rock Oysters, and Sicilian Olives. Primi Plati which is pasta dishes, Contorni (side dishes) such as salads and fries. And obviously there is Dolci for desserts.

For lunch we had:

Spaghetti E Vongole - this was my dish and I liked the light touch of olive oil, parsley, and fresh chilli to the al dente pasta. The Vongole was nicely cooked but the meat from the clams was a little small for my liking.

Lasagne Di Carne - this was a tasty dish, it reminded me of a home cooked lasagne. It was not overly robust but definitely tasty.

For dessert we couldn't resist the Lemon Tart. It was sublimely rich in the lemon flavour, tangy yet sweet and super smooth. Delicious! Sorry about the quality of the photo, it got cloudy and I wasn't lucky with my timing of the photo.

My second visit was at dinner time and the bar on the other side of the restaurant was full to the brim with drinkers and after hours workers socialising. As a result it was rather noisy and difficult to hear each other.

We decided to have a few small plates to share to save room for dessert.

Salame - this was quite thickly cut and served with a side of rocket leaves. I would have liked it to be more thinly sliced but that is a personal preference.

Tuscan Lamb Cutlet - each cut was $7 each and we ordered a total of 4 cutlets. I enjoyed the flavours and found them to be perfectly cooked, a nice of touch of pink in the middle.

Calamari with chilli, garlic and parsley - my favourite dish of the night. The calamari was tender, lightly battered and with the zing of lemon juice was rather tasty. We couldn't stop eating it.

And for dessert, we had two to share.

Ilaria's Ricotta Cake - the ricotta cake itself was delicious. It was light, creamy and had bits of raisin to make the ricotta interesting. However there were lashings of a honey based sauce over the cake that made it overly sweet and I would have preferred the cake without the sauce. I do wish the sauce was served on the side.

Maria's Tiramisu - we were surprised at how light the tiramisu was. Typically tiramisus are known to be rich and creamy. This version was light, creamy and bang full of flavour. It was delightful and one I will return for in the future.

One general comment about the 2 meals I had was the length of time it took for the wait team to take our orders, refill our glasses of water and actually serve our dishes. It was a lot longer than I would have expected and it is clear they appear to be under staffed. The Lemon Tree has turned out to be a very popular Italian restaurant but they need to find the right balance of staff/cooks to diners. The staff who work there were friendly and helpful but it was clear they were struggling to keep up with the numbers.

I hope this will improve over time. But other than that, nice food, good location and nice ambience are plusses for this charming Italian!

Lemon Tree on Urbanspoon
The Lemon Tree
Australia Square Piazza
278 George Street
NSW 2000
Facebook: The Lemon Tree Sydney

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

The spaghetti with vongole looks great. And lol did you mean Australia Square Plaza and not Pizza in the location? I do the same thing all the time. Haha.

Cindy said...

Hi Helen, oops! Typo and I didn't even see it! Thanks for the heads up, all corrected now to reflect Plaza (duh me)! :)

Cindy said...

2nd reply to Helen: Changed my mind. Decided it should have been Piazza instead of Plaza. Hehe!

chocolatesuze said...

ooh that tiramisu sounds delish!

Cindy said...

Hi chocolatesuze, it certainly was delish! :)

Annie said...

i do love a spaghetti vongole so will definitely be checking this out after work one evening :)

Cindy said...

Hello Annie, lovely to hear from you. I hope you will enjoy the meal when you check it out. I also hope service will be a lot faster for you than when I was there. :)