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Jul 06


There are two-hat restaurants and there are two-hat restaurants. Unfortunately for Pello, located on Stanley Street in East Sydney, it falls somewhere towards the bottom end of the two-hat spectrum.

Our group of four arrived at the restaurant at about 7.30pm last night. We inquired whether they had on offer a degustation menu, only to be told that it was on offer every night of the week except for Fridays and Saturdays. We found this somewhat peculiar as a degustation menu is normally meant to showcase a wider range of dishes to customers, and with Friday and Saturday nights being the busiest, it would make more sense to offer it on those days instead. Nonetheless, we made do with a three-course à la carte menu, got a bottle of wine and waited.

About half an hour later, the entrées arrived – I had the Pello tasting plate, a bunch of four delicious canapé-sized morsels. We polished the entrées off and waited. And waited. And waited some more.

When the mains finally arrived, my first reaction was at how small the serving sizes were. They looked like they were degustation menu-sized servings, except of course that we weren’t eating from a degustation menu. In fact, I’ve seen degustation menu dishes that were larger than those. Size aside, the food was very tasty (I had the daily special – a pork dish). And then it was back to waiting.

Finally they brought out the dessert menu, we ordered, and after another interminable period, out our desserts came. I ordered the Mandarin Jelly Pyramid with Mandarin sorbet and plastic. Yes, the sorbet was damn nice, except for a chip of plastic takeaway container that was lodged in it. Tam had to contend with a scrap of paper attached to his chocolate pudding (or it might have been the quince tart, I don’t remember). Those things aside, the desserts were quite unusual, but innovative and definitely worth it.

By this time it was incredibly almost midnight (four and a half hours for a 3 course meal?!), so instead of complaining about the plastic and getting the dish redone, which would surely have taken another hour, we rounded up the final bill to $300 ($75pp). That made a grand tip of $3. Our waitress immediately took notice of this and asked if everything had been okay. She was quite apologetic after we had voiced our concerns to her. (Note that it’s always worthwhile voicing your complaints in restaurants like this, if you have the time.)

I should also mention that they provided two freebie courses – a mini-entrée and a pre-dessert course (there’s that word again).

All in all, it’d be a pretty good restaurant if you have a whole night to kill, and you could order an entrée, skip the mains and grab dessert.

  11:47pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Food  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment