Saturday, June 04, 2005


Location: Leichardt, Sydney

Sydney is full of ethnic enclaves. Certain suburbs are like small versions of the original countries. Punchbowl is popular with Middle-Easterns; Cabramatta populated by Vietnamese; Ashfield, Burwood and surrounding suburbs by mainland Chinese (the size of that country takes up a correspondingly larger amount of suburb area).

Leichardt is considered the mini-Italy in Sydney. Thus, a plethora of Italian restaurants.

It was my last night in Sydney before I depart for China and bf took me out to dinner. Our friend S had recommended before that we try Sapore at the forum. The first time we went there with our other friend K, it was Mothers' Day and of course totally packed. That time we went to Dante instead and had a very enjoyable meal.

This time Sapore was busy, but we were shown straight to our table as it was just the two of us. The waiter was incredibly friendly and jocular. We felt very comfortable in his care.

We ordered calamari fritte (deep-fried squid rings) to start. I ordered a linguine gamberi (linguine with prawns in cream sauce with snow peas and sundried tomatoes). Bf ordered a mushroom risotto,

The meal was overall ho-hum. We didn't really like it but the price was ok. A list of what was wrong with the meal:

1. Frozen calamari was used - there really is no excuse for using frozen seafood in Sydney. It possesses the 2nd largest fresh fish market in the world. Japan has a bigger one.
2. The deep-frying oil needed to be changed - You could taste the degraded and burnt fish oils in the batter - not nice.
3. The risotto was made with the aid of a stock cube - I'm not against the use of stock cubes, but this was patently obvious and of low quality.
4. The prawns in my linguine were frozen - see point 1.

If choosing to dine here ask to sit inside. We sat on the 'patio' section and were surrounded by people who thought cigarette smoke is the perfect accompaniment to Italian cuisine. Imagine holding a cigarette and fork in one hand while cutting your steak with the other. Ugh.

So, if you're at the forum, I recommend going to Dante instead. Also ask to sit inside because of the ubiquitous carcinogen problem.

Entrées: $6 to $9
Mains: $14 to $18 for pasta, $20+ for grill dishes, e.g. chicken or steak

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