Porchetta, mushrooms, fetta and capsicum
A one-hour lunchtime rendezvous is always a tricky endeavour. Although Sydney isn't as spread out as, say London or New York, finding a convenient classy venue for foodie friends is an onerous task indeed.
Inevitably we end up at Macchiato on the corner of Pitt and Liverpool Streets. It's central, snazzy and service is snappy. It's also inevitably popular with office gatherings.
The decor is hip without being pretentious -- chocolate brown tables and white moulded chairs, lights hanging overhead and a platformed terrain providing a series of nooks and crannies.
Lunch menu options vary from sandwiches, wraps and burgers, to more substantial meals of linguini prawns, lamb shanks and chicken risotto. In a pre-blogging life I've had the shanks before (fair but not grand, from memory), but on the last couple of times we've converged here it's generally been pizzas all round.
Olive pizza bread $4.50
The olive pizza bread was crisp and almost like grissini. Brushed lightly with olive tapenade, these were still compellingly addictive and disappeared rather rapidly.
Steamed vegetables $8.90
A side of vegetables at $8.90 did not appear as we thought they would. We've ordered the vegetables twice now and have been consistently disappointed with the lack of quantity and quality. The unpeeled carrot was also a bit of a mystery too.
Fortunately their pizzas rarely fail to disappoint. Made fresh and woodfired in the open kitchen, we've emerged a couple of times with our hair smelling of pizza all afternoon.
Macchiato pizza $17.90
Roasted capsicum, grilled onion, eggplant, fetta, cheese,
mushroom, roasted pumpkin, rosemary and olives
Bombay pizza $18.90
Tandoori chicken marinated in Indian spices, onions
and garnished with peanuts, chutney, mint and
cucumber yoghurt and pappadum
The bases here always have a pleasing crispness to them and the range of toppings is varied enough to suit most finicky palates. A roasted vegetable pizza usually sways me on any menu but I find the Macchiato version a little too chunky and healthy for my liking. I like my vegetables marinated, caramelised and drizzled with olive oil, but this version suits my health-conscious dining partners (ptooey).
Instead I've now been swayed by the Bombay pizza, a combination I previously held with a certain level of food snobbery contempt. Oh how the mighty have fallen, as I now find the tender spicy chicken irrresistable, and the pappadum sail provides a bonus entree.
Best of all they serve good coffee. Sufficient redemption as you wonder aloud several hours later, "Do you smell... pizza?"
338 Pitt Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9262 9525
Monday - Friday 7am until late
Saturday 5pm until late
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Macchiato, September 2006
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11/01/2005 11:59:00 p.m.