Alex: There’s usually lot of ‘uhhmming and ahhing’ when considering eating anywhere in Darling Harbour generally because there’s a lot of bad hype that surrounds the very touristy locale. For drinks on the other hand, Cockle Bay Wharf is a bustling area with a great view, what more could you ask for! With the added addition of Casa Ristorante in King Street Wharf bringing some good quality italian food, I’ve slowly become more inclined to make the effort to go there a little more often. Us ‘For Food Saker’s’ were invited by Carly from ‘Blackbird Cafe’ to try out the new drinks menu and for the most part they didn’t disappoint!
Blackbird Cafe has a great atmosphere for a casual dining experience or just for a cocktail or two. It was great to know that they were getting into the World Cup spirit as well, with decorations hanging all around the restaurant!
Carly kindly started us off with some ‘Crunchy chips w. thyme salt and basil aioli $7′ They were really good chips and the basil aioli was top notch, with an interesting tangy taste. They definitely made perusing the drinks menu a lot more…..indulgent.
My first drink was the Espresso Martini, a beautifully fresh and tasty drink that is great before or after dinner. The caffeine also helped to give me a bit of a kick start! The martini tasted abit like an iced mocha. If you love vodka and coffee then you can’t go wrong with this choice!
Bartender and in house mixologist Mirko Cacciola let me take some quick snaps of him making some of his favourite cocktails for us.
After watching Mirko twist, shake and mix we were brought three beautifully presented and unique looking cocktails. It was evident through presentation and taste that Mirko was passionate about what he creates.
The three cocktails were:
-Strawberry Caprioska; Muddled & served vodka, lime wedges & sugar with crushed ice. A refreshing cocktail, similar in taste to a strawberry slushy and any slushy style drink reminds me of Vegas, bringing back some great memories!
-The Dark Violet; peach vodka, vodka, passoa, blue curacao, sweet & sour juices, grenadine & lemon squash. This cocktail had an interesting taste that I was unfamiliar with. It was bitter and it was sweet. A combination of the two that played around with my taste buds in a fun and entertaining way! This was Bianca’s favourite of the night.
-Strawberry Daiquiri; White Rum, fresh fruit pieces, ice, sugar syrup & fresh lime blended and served in a fish bowl glass. This was my favourite cocktail of the whole night. The cocktail was thick and grainy in texture due to the blended strawberry fruit pieces creating an aromatic, flavourful cocktail that was great to share between the three of us. I think if I was to drink the whole ‘fish bowl’ to myself I’d probably feel a little queasy only because of how sweet it is.
Our final round of drinks for the night before we passed out were:
-Ocean Drive; peach vodka, malibu, blue curcao & lemon squash.
-Sweet Surprise; blend of lychee liquor and kopperberg cider.
-Sweet Emotion; peach vodka and schnapps, passion fruit passoa, paraiso & lemon sour topped w. lift & blue curacao. This was the least favourite cocktail decided by all FFSakers. I thought that the flavours were really odd, and didn’t really mesh well together.
At around 9pm, with our heads slightly spinning we decided to order some entrée’s and a pizza.
The ‘Szechuan pepper squid $16.90’ was beautifully seasoned with just the right amount of chilli to tingle the senses, whilst the basil aioli helped to balance the heat of the chilli and cool the mouth. They were also very crispy so we kept going back for more.
The ‘Arancini balls $16.90’ were ordered so we could compare them to ‘Casa Ristorante’, just around the corner from Blackbird. While they looked the same and were delivered beautifully, the flavours weren’t as strong or as memorable as Casa. Again, the chilli mayo had just the right amount of spice and definitely helped in creating some much needed punch. Because the arancini balls were also quite dry there was enough residual mayo to dollop over the arancini in to keep it moist.
One thing I was definitely surprised about was how good the pizza was! The ‘Pancetta pizza $27.90’ was delicious! Large crispy pieces of pancetta with beautiful cherry tomatoes simply melted in your mouth, of course the cheesy pizza base definitely helped to make this one a winner. A great combination of ingredients that created a fabulous and fresh pizza, something I would definitely order again.
Blackbird café is a great place to start your Friday or Saturday night with a great drinks menu and some killer cocktails. It’s casual and fun and their pizza is amazing!
Definitely worth trying out, even if it is just for a drink!
Until next time…
*For Foods Sake were guest of Blackbird Cafe, all opinions however are our own. Thank you to the lovely Carly for organising our visit.
I never really think to go out in Darling Harbour but if there are fireworks or something else on the harbour it’s good to have somewhere to eat.