Another good food day transpires during Good Food Month, and this time it brings me to Galileo Restaurant. A number of eateries around Sydney are offering a Let's Do Lunch menu during the month of October and Galileo was one of them. The best thing about this lunch was that I got to meet Audrey of Berry Simple.
After exchanging a few emails we agreed to meet for lunch at the historic Observatory Hotel, nestled serenely in the part of The Rocks away from tourists and the hustle and bustle that is Hickson Rd. At first glance while standing in front of the unassuming concierge counter there really isn't much to the place. However as you take a few more steps through to the lobby and down the corridor into the bar and restaurant, you immediately feel some place else. There is something old-worldly and genteel about the place, perhaps it is their antique chandeliers, walnut floors or Fortuny silk drapery, but whatever it is, it doesn't have that modern uber-chic minimalist decor that seems to render some establishments feeling very cold and distant.
The Let's Do Lunch menu offered a Jewfish pie with prawn mousse, artichoke salad and béarnaise sauce, matched with a glass Brown Brothers Riesling. A pie is always a satisfying feed, although this one went above and beyond its call of duty. Hunger pangs be gone, and so did my appetite for the rest of the day. This delicious jewfish pie filled me so much to the point that I did not have any room for anything else. And as one who boasts about her seven stomachs for dessert, she stood corrected by this seemingly light pie. Even when dinner time rolled by, when I would normally be trolling the work cafeteria for food, I was still too full to eat. Now this may well be a first!
The jewfish filling was fabulously meaty although still melted in your mouth. The pastry that it was parcelled in was beautiful and crisp but was tender enough that it fell apart at the touch of your fork. It was the perfect combination if crisp delicateness. Most of all I loved the béarnaise sauce that accompanied the pie and it is unfortunate that they do not put more on your plate.
What I love about meeting with other food bloggers, is that instead of your fellow diners gasping at the sight of you taking out a camera to photograph your food, is that they too are fishing for their own camera to take photos. I have found that other than food itself, it’s this shared idiosyncrasy that probably brings food bloggers together more so. After the customary chit-chat was exchanged the conversation was flowing, it was just like meeting up with an old friend. I guess it seemed like we already knew each other as that we had read each others blog and had some sort of insight into each others lives. This is what I love about food blogging.
After such a satisfying lunch, we were thrilled at the offer of some tea and the prospect of possibly easing my gradually bloating mid-section. The tea was served in beautifully ornate silver antique teapots that according to our maître d' were worth around $300 a pop. After hearing this, our tea just felt that little bit more refined and I felt that little bit more “grown-up”. So this is what expensive silverware can do to you.
Aside from the great food and company, I also have to mention the great service we received. The waiters were welcoming and always attentive and when it comes to service, this is usually the underlying factor that determines whether I come back or not. Good food aside, if the service is bad, I am very unlikely to patron the establishment again. So I am very pleased to say that the service here is above reproach, they do everything they can to make your dining experience great, which is what all good restaurants should do. It did help that the lunchtime crowd was rather meagre considering they are not usually open for lunch. Although I think it is safe to say that same sort of attentiveness is provided even when the dining room is full.
So thanks Audrey for a wonderful lunch and hope you have a great weekend away! (check out Audrey's post on our lunch here)
Also, for more lovely lunches during Good Food Month check out the round up here.
When: Monday - Friday throughout October, Noon-2pm
The Observatory Hotel
89-113 Kent St,
The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: 9256 2215