If you’re a Sydney CBD worker you’ll know how busy the streets get at lunchtime. Queues form everywhere from takeaway sushi and salad spots, to McDonald’s and Subway. I do try not to make a habit of buying my lunch, after all I enjoy making my own more, and it’s a waste of money, but some days I’m just not organised with preparing my own.
But there are those times you feel like a lunch away from your desk that is nicer than a loud food court, where you can enjoy your food in good ambiance, with good company, and excellent food – without the restaurant prices.
Panzerotti Cafe near Wynyard is this place!
Panzerotti is a sunken cafe on the corner of Margaret and York Streets and is hugely popular for its quality, authentic pastas. Lara and I arrived at 12pm sharp and easily got a table, which is good because I’d booked, but within 10 minutes the cafe was packed.
We start with garlic bread to share, though it’s not your usual garlic bread. These crunchy Brasserie Bread slices are toasted and dressed with a garlic infused oil which is a happy surprise.
Garlic bread, $5.50
The intoxicating, warming scent of garlic and herbs infuse the air here, and we can’t help eyeing off the other diners’ lunches as they’re brought past.
Happily though, our own lunches soon arrive. Lara chose the penne with prosciutto – a huge serve of perfectly al dente penne with crisp prosciutto, rosemary, garlic and chili in a napoletana sauce.
Penne Prosciutto, $15.50 eat-in ($12.50 takeaway)
I know coming to a cafe that has such good pasta and not having said pasta is like going to Hurricane’s and not having ribs, but please hear me out! The fig salad sounded too good, plus I wanted to choose a healthier option and I
was am fig-mad
My plate was piled high with rocket dressed in honey and lemon, with thin slices of prosciutto, fresh figs, heavenly soft buffalo mozzarella and shavings of parmesan. Served with a slice of toasted Brasserie Bread quinoa and soya loaf, I was a very happy luncher indeed.
Fig salad, $15
They sell a range of goodies to take home – dried pasta, olive oils, and tinned tomatoes, as well as loaves of Brasserie Bread, and charcuterie. We were hoping to finish our lunch on a sweet note of cannoli but unfortunately they had none
They also serve breakfast and coffee, and I’ve tried their excellent affogatos in the past – a quality espresso shot over a scoop of Italian hazelnut gelato, and oh yes, it’s an amazing flavour combination.
Do you have any great lunch spots near your workplace, or do you mostly eat at your desk?
61 2 9290 1119
42 Margaret Street, Sydney
6.00am – 3.30pm