Sydney’s Australia Square has welcomed The Lemon Tree, the latest venture between Tim Holmes à Court and Daimon Downey of Pelicano in Double Bay and Kate McMahon of Catalina.
The Lemon Tree, Australia Square, Sydney
Located on the piazza of Australia Square at the corner of Pitt and Bond Streets, the casual 150 seater eatery serves Southern Italian cuisine with flair. Head Chef, Peter Streckfuss formerly of Catalina brings a simple, light yet elegant menu with a focus on produce and flavour.
The Lemon Tree Interior
The white-washed interior with pink marble accents at the central bar is bright and welcoming, the work of interior designer, Tamsin Johnson. Lemon trees in terracotta pots feature indoor and outdoor giving the bright and airy venue a Mediterranean feel along with the occasional Italian accent.
The Lemon Tree from Australia Square Piazza
The wine list features wines by the glass and by the bottles, from Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand with G.H. Mumm Champagne as the exclusive champagne pour.. Cocktails ($16) give a nod to the owners’ venues with the Pelicano Martini and the Catalina Martini as well as Italian aperitvi such as Negroni, Americano and Spritz.
The one page oversized place mat menu is kept succinct but with enough choice to tempt you back. The food menu is divided into the Italian classic Primi Piatti, Secondi, Contorni and Dolci. At first, the dishes may seem a little retro but these are classic dishes that hold their own.
Sydney Rock Oysters with eshallot red wine vinegar
Start with a glass of GH Mumm Champagne and the briny Sydney Rock Oysters with eshallot red wine vinegar ($4.50 each).
The Antipasti ($16 per person) brings a nibbling board of green olives, chargrilled zucchini and capsicum, Testun Occelli al Barolo cheese with its “grape must” and a black olive paste you simply can’t put down.
The Lemon Tree – house made pasta
Pasta features on the menu and it is made on the premises as this sneaky peek into the kitchen reveals.
Spaghetti e Vongole
Spaghetti e Vongole ($26) is light and fresh and sings the flavours of the sea. The marriage of the bivalves with the right balance of olive oil, garlic with a hint of chilli in a silky spaghetti makes it a dish one would happily order again.
Tagliatelle al Ragu
For something a little more robust in flavour, the rich and comforting Tagliatelle al Ragu ($24) hits the right spot with smooth ribbons of pasta in a delicious beef ragu sauce.
Lasagne di Carne
The Lasagne di Carne ($24) reminds you of home cooking at its best, good produce and ingredients, simply cooked well.
It’s not all pasta at The Lemon Tree. Other main course dishes include portobello mushrooms in creamy polenta ($28), Cone Bay Barramundi with fennel and orange ($34) and veal milanese ($34).
Rocket Parmesan Salad
Sides include a healthy Rocket Parmesan Salad ($10),
Fries with Oregano
while a dose of Fries with Parmesan and Oregano ($10) is difficult to resist.
For dessert, there’s the Affogato ($14), with rich and creamy vanilla ice cream waiting to be topped with a shot of Frangelico and espresso.
Ilaria’s Ricotta Cake
Creamy yet not too heavy, Ilaria’s Ricotta Cake ($14) satisfying the sweet spot.
But it is Maria’s Tiramisu that steals the show with the right balance of mascarpone, marsala and coffee and may well be the best Tiramisu this side of Italy.
The Lemon Tree
The Lemon Tree leaves a lasting impression from the first visit. With the welcoming and casual ambience, the light and bright fitout and unpretentious Italian fare that sings in flavour, you could well be on the shores of the Mediterranean.
The Lemon Tree
Australia Square Piazza
Corner Pitt and Bond Sts
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9241 1685
Lunch and Dinner Monday to Friday 12pm to Midnight
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