Café Sopra Primavera: Walsh Bay

As Sydney gears towards summer, long Sunday lunches with friends become the norm.

Located in Walsh Bay near the Sydney Theatre, Café Sopra Primavera is part of the Fratelli Fresh food store where you can eat in a warehouse space as you watch with shelves getting stocked with food products by energetic staff with the word PERSONALE printed in red on the back of their T-shirts.

Cafe Sopra PrimaveraWalsh Bay
Island Bar

Awarded one hat at the 2011 Good Food Guide Awards, Executive Chef Andy Bunn places emphasis on freshness and flavour, a combination that serves up a litany of winning dishes.

Cafe Sopra PrimaveraWalsh Bay
Blackboard menu

The menu is displayed on a giant blackboard but as we are a group, we have pre-selected the set 4 course menu. At $60 a head excluding beverages, there is a choice of 5 Antipasti, 2 Secondi, 2 Terzi, and 2 desserts. All the dishes are shared banquet-style, and served at a comfortable pace to allow for a leisurely lunch with friends.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
Dining Tables

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
Product Shelves

Antipasti (5 dishes)

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

The simplicity and flavours of the Bocconcini with vine ripened tomatoes takes you back to Italy. The freshness of the ingredients is key to this first starter and the almost stringy texture of the bocconcini is good enough to enjoy on its own.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

The Roast pumpkin salad with red capsicum, coriander, chilli and aged balsamic is more than a scattering of dressed iceberg leaves. The addition of roast pumpkin and sweet aged balsamic makes is a robust salad.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Arancini with taleggio with mixed herbs and lemon are easy to pop in the mouth while sipping on a Pinot Grigio.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
The Frittata with goats curd and baby basil is creamy yet light. The texture of the goats curd compliments the slightly runny egg. I apply a little restraint with this dish. I could have easily had one for myself.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Affettati misti, the mixed plate of cured meat includes generous slices of ham, prosciutto and salami.

Secondi (2 dishes)

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

First dish of the Secondi is a generous serving of Lamb ragu with conchiglia, chilli and rosemary. This is no ordinary pasta dish. The lamb pieces are so tender they break as you pick them up with your fork. The chilli adds a welcome kick to this hearty and comforting dish.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Served with scissor tongs, Crisp polenta with oyster mushrooms and gorgonzola sauce oozes with flavour. The combination of chip-like polenta and a piquant sauce makes this dish a winner.

Terzi (2 dishes)

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Our plates are cleared and after a pause to digest, a large serving of Roast pork belly with bitter greens makes a grand entrance.

Cafe Sopra Walsh BayCafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Succulent pieces of pork belly are perfectly cooked, tender and flavoursome, topped with a crackling that elicits an encore. Pork is not a meat I like to eat or order in restaurants, preferring it in cured varieties but this dish will always be remembered as the one that converted me.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

I feel a little sorry for the Dory with tomatoes, pickled cucumber and capers when it is served after the pork belly. On its own, it deserves applause but somehow loses the wow factor due to its predecessor. If you enjoy the strong flavours of John Dory, you’ll love this dish. The freshness of vegetables remind you of summer.

Fini (2 dishes)

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay

The first of the desserts is served, an enticing piece of Tiramisu. However, one taste and it is confined to the least impressive of all the dishes. I find it a little too watery for my taste and light on coffee and Marsala. Most tiramisus don’t stand a chance when compared to the one my Italian chef friend makes, he who guards his methods close to his heart.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
We become acquainted with the Eton Mess, a dessert traditionally served at Eton College in the UK for its annual cricket game. The ‘mess’ looks like a girlie dessert but the men happily tuck into it with approving noises. The mound of strawberries, meringue and cream is delicious and sweet enough to make up for the lacklustre of the tiramisu.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
Happy Birthday Biscotti

With the arrival of dessert, I realise that no one in our group has arranged to wish our friend a Happy Birthday. I quietly ask our waitress if we could have a candle, and she presents him with a plate of biscotti with a candle secured on half a lemon, a lovely touch for a last minute suggestion.

Cafe Sopra Walsh Bay
Kitchen

Cafe Sopra Walsh BayCafe Sopra Walsh Bay

Pinot Grigio (L)                                                               Wine Cellar (R)

The four course set menu ($60) is in essence 11 dishes that leave you more satisfied. Despite our hearty appetites over a long lunch, there is ample food left over which we are offered to take home in containers.

With the emphasis on freshness and flavour, generous servings, good service, a casual ambience and a relaxed café style environment, Café Sopra offers great value for money and is recommended for long lunches with good friends.

Cafe Sopra, Walsh Bay
Fratelli Fresh Walsh Bay
Shop 8, 16 Hickson Rd
Walsh Bay – Sydney
Ph (02) 8243 2700
www.fratellifresh.com.au
Cafe Sopra on Urbanspoon

This article is posted on Gourmantic.com. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014

Café Sopra Primavera: Walsh Bay was last modified: June 8th, 2014 by Corinne

Corinne

Corinne is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it and subscribing to our newsletter:

12 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Café Sopra Primavera: Walsh Bay | Gourmantic -- Topsy.com

  2. wow what a feast. the pork belly with crackling looks sensational. i want it now! :-) i love cafe sopra!

    • Hi Simon and welcome :) It was the kind of feast that needed a good lie down afterwards and a jog the next day after that amazing crackling!

  3. it all looks mouthwateringly delish!! (especially the veggies alongside the John Dory – nice and bright and fresh) I got a little pang of jealousy over your take-home portion…that’s something we just don’t get in Paris: doggy bags.

    • I was surprised they offered us to take home the left overs. We somehow ended up with the lot and let me tell you, it still tasted great the next day! I’d imagine in Paris, a doggy bag would be for the doggies… :)

  4. The menu looks a bit pricey but the food looks delicious.

    • For Sydney prices, this is very good value. Not sure if you’ve been to Sydney, it’s a very expensive city to live in, and fresh produce doesn’t come cheap.

  5. My husband used to make arancini. Since you reminded me, I think I’m going to have to ask him to make some soon! And the pork belly looks delish! But your opening line of “As Sydney gears towards Summer” is what really got me. I’m so jealous! ;)

    • I can’t tell you how much I’m anticipating summer! We’ve had a rainy spring and could do with long summer days and plenty of sunshine. Weather aside, the pork belly was divine. Enough to convert me! :)

  6. Pingback: Wedding Degustation Menu | Gourmantic

  7. I think this is one of the better cafes around the city although the wait can be quite excruciating :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>