Pendolino is an Italian restaurant located in the historical and iconic Strand Arcade. I absolutely love walking through the Strand and browsing the shops. And when I have some additional time, I like browsing the 1st and 2nd floors of the retail shops.
But in all these years I have yet to dine at Pendolino. It was time to meet up with my friend SH and celebrate her upcoming birthday. Silly me forgot to bring her presents so that means I will have to mail them, wont't I? Duh!!
It was the first time I went to the Strand after hours and I was surprised at how everything was gated right at the start of the arcade. I couldn't browse around even though I was 15 minutes early for the dinner.
So I took the lifts and when I exited I was literally stepping into the restaurant. It was unexpected and it threw me a little.
The lightning was low, which to me means dark! Terrible for trying to take photos but great if you are here for a romantic dinner. Lol! They even brought out a mini lamp for diners to read the menu and they take the lamp away once the orders are placed. I was so tempted to ask for the lamp to stay on the table.
Three types of olive oil served with some delicious bread. I liked that they labelled each of the oil so we knew what we were tasting. There was the fruity olive oil, lemon infused, and blood orange. My favourite was the lemon infused. SH preferred the blood orange. And I really enjoyed the walnut bread.
Entree of Carpaccio Di Manzo All'Abese - free range raw beef carpaccio with truffled white walnut purée, Testun di Barolo cheese, rocket cress, wild baby olives and handmade rosemary grissini.
Entree of Burrata Con Insalata Di Rape Rosse - warm beetroot and red radish salad with burrata, crisp breadcrumbs, Cabernet vinegar, and Ligurian honey dressing.
I was thoroughly enjoying my entree. The burrata was lusciously creamy and the beetroot was sweet and perfectly cooked. The crisp breadcrumbs provided the much needed crunchiness to the lovely salad.
SH finished her dish up and her verdict was the carpaccio was delicious! Enough said!
Main of Trota Salmonata In Padella - pan roasted Tasmanian Ocean trout with tomato braised fennel and white onion, radicchio, baby potatoes, fennel and citrus dust.
Main of Arrosto Di Anatra Con Cavolfiore Al Vino Rosso - roasted duck leg with Sicilian red wine, braised cauliflower, cauliflower purée, duck and thyme sauce, fava beans and black olives.
I have such a weakness for duck and I was suitably impressed at the tenderness of the duck. If not cooked well, duck can tend to be dry as there is less fat in the meat. But this was perfectly cooked. Delicious!
And SH enjoyed her ocean trout dish and said the flavours were well balanced.
We also decided to have some desserts. And this time we sampled each other's dish.
Semifreddo Di Torrone Alle Mandorle - nougat, Ligurian honey and almond milk semifreddo with candied almond and crostoli.
Meringata Di Frangoline E Rabarbaro - classic meringue cake with braised rhubarb and wild strawberries, Lambrusco jelly and wild strawberry sorbet. Unfortunately my photo of this dessert wasn't very clear.. :(
Both were nice, not overwhelmingly sweet, which suited our palates. But we felt the rhubarb meringue stood out. The semifreddo had subtle flavours and was not as 'in your face' as the meringue. I think the meringue won this time.
Generally my comments about the non food components of my dining experience would be the service was good, the lighting could be improved (so the the selfish blogger says!), and they could slow down the timing of the next dish just a tad. It was way too quick between the entree and main. As far as I am aware it is not a restaurant with 2 seating sessions so I didn't get why I felt we were rushed.
Having said that we had a lovely evening. Happy birthday SH!
Shop 100-102, Level 2
The Strand Arcade
412-414 George Street
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