My companion for this review was the lovely purpledaisy - it was very nice to catch up with her over lunch as we explored the cuisine of the former king of Haberfield’s haute Italian dining, John Lanzafàme. He presents an Italian menu at the head of the Star City Retail Arcade, a little known part of the Star City Casino complex easily accessed without passing through the casino floor.
With water views, the al fresco tables offer a lunch time opportunity to watch the passing dancers (it’s opposite the Lyric Theatre) and occasionally yell 'eat' when they were painfully thin. For our own lunches, we selected from a recession-busting list of twelve choices, each priced at a low $12. The twelve choices for $12 lunch special is available from noon until 2pm, Tuesday to Friday.
A large bowl of Chick Pea Soup ($12) with warm scallops and potato was also a filling and flavoursome experience, and the chef’s talent meant the fat, unctuous scallops were not overcooked. The wine list has a large number of wines available by the glass, including an easy-drinking Italian Carpene Malvolti Proscecco ($14/glass, $57/bottle) which suited this dish quite well.
Simplicity is the key to his lovely and substantial Margherita Pizza ($12) of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan and basil.
Cap things off with a Vanilla Panna Cotta ($12) with an orange mint salad - we shared this and it was good.
Not so good was the Latte ($4) of Giancarlo Coffee which I hoped would propel me back to work - perhaps I just got spoiled with the wonderful coffee recently in Wellington? Either way it was the only disappointment.
Retail Arcade opposite Lyric Theatre,
Star City Casino, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9571 1122