Note: big, gluttonous, not-quite-cheap-lunch coming up - dessert included!
Truffled chicken liver lasagne with lots of parmesan cheese - just how I like it.
On the top floor of the Strand Arcade, Pendolino's houses a restaurant (fine dining and pricey - though their burnt butter sage ravioli is amazing) as well as a more affordable cafe. I say more affordable, as in it's well-priced but I wouldn't call it budget.
There's a pretty good variety of dishes, from salads to pastas as well as sweets. The quality is pretty high.
Breakdown Cost:$45 between two people. We ordered: - Insalata di Maiale: salad of pork belly, fried potato, Italian parsley, dried black olive, red onion, endive and nebbiolo vinegar, $16.
- Vincisgrassi: Truffled chicken liver and Portobello mushroom lasagne, $17.
- Chocolate and hazelnut praline tart, $8.50.
- Blood orange olive cake, $3.50.
Value: Pretty decent considering the variety and amount of food we ate.
Speed: Not bad, but it's worse (understandably) when it's peak lunch hour. I've been here before and the pasta has been undercooked when it's a particularly heavy day. You definitely need to set aside time to come here.
Tip: Split with a friend so that you can try more food. The crisp pork belly salad is surprisingly filling. The lasagne is great on a winter's day. This place can get busy though, so it's good to come either at 12pm or 1.45pm to beat the rush. Also, I didn't order this for this sitting, but the shoe-string fries with sea salt and oregano is pretty amazing.
Recommendation: It's good if you want a very, very civilised lunch. Don't come if you're on a tight budget. It's a lovely ambience and I think for the quality of food, it's really very reasonable. It's often overlooked as a Sydney CBD lunch often - probably because you can't grab a quick lunch there.