Ripples Cafe, Sydney Wharf

First up, let me just say that going to Ripples Cafe, Sydney Wharf on a rainy day is the WORST idea!  Its ideallylic waterfront location on the wharf also makes it a gauntlet for those without umbrella because there is absolutely no cover!  For some moments, it was rainy so heavily we wondered whether the plastic canopy was going to cave in, in fact some parts of it dripped.  But on a fine day, I’m sure it will be entirely spectacular.  Should have known that though, cos the restaurant is 100% outdoors!  Anyway, now that I have stated the disclaimer, let’s look at the delights for those who are lucky enough to go on a fine day!

We were famished by the time we got there, so first up was to order some roasted garlic bread.  Each serve came with four generous wedges of garlic bread with a twist. It was bread with whole baked caramelised cloves through it. And boy was there alot of garlic!  The husband of my manager was said to say “you reek!” when she got home!  But we as a whole team wolfed it all down.  It came served with extra garlic butter, as well as a walnut sauce which was a bit redundant as it was a bit sweet and the bread was sweet anyway.  I would have preferred the garlic to be more integrated into the bread as it was a bit offputting to chew through whole cloves of garlic.

Hunger staved, we could then turn our attention to ordering.  We were having the $29 team lunch, which comprised a choice of one of four courses with a glass of house wine, beer or soft drink; AND tea or coffee at the end.  First choice, was their signature fish and chips.  The fish was hake (ie shark), which is not atypical of fish and chips in Australia, but could be improved by using flathead for example.  They were crispy and served on crispy fries.

Second choice was olive crusted slow cooked lamb.. I don’t eat lamb, but was informed that it was braised so tender it fell apart at the mere touch of the fork, and the serving size was also very generous.   Served with mash topped with ratatouille and a basil dressing, it sounded a bit busy with the jus, but that’s just my opinion, uninformed :)

My choice was the sirloin with watercress salad and chips.  The steak was very tender and the salad tangy.  I quite enjoyed it!  I particularly loved the giant chips, stacked like a little block of potato jenga :)

Fourth and final choice was a vegetarian trio. No once chose it, so no piccies sorry!  Apart from the potential view, the absolute stand out star of the show as dessert.  Hats off to the pastry chef for producing such amazing tastes, and for the management for the very reasonable prices!  Overwhelmingly most popular was the lemon tart and bombe alaska.

The lemon tart was in fact a lemon BRULEE tart – yummmm the crispy toffee coating makes an already delicious tart just that little bit more luxurious.  The lemon was perfectly balanced between tangy and sweet.

And it paired so well with the little bombe alaska – also with lemon gelato in the centre.  The outside eggwhite wasn’t the cooked eggwhite type however can be forgiven for the flavour.

Second most popular was the chocolate tasting plate.  You’re getting the gist of these superb two or three for the price of one desserts? :)

A chocolate tart, chocolate terrine and ummm don’t know what the third one was, but I was assured that they were all delicious.

All in all, a great value lunch.  This is restaurant food at bistro prices.  If it was a sunny day, it would have been idyllic.  And coming here simply for dessert would be worth it on its own.  Quick, the $29 lunch deal ends in September!

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