Balthazar Cafe

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Balthazar Cafe

date of visit: Thursday 4 July 2013

We first ducked in to Balthazar Café quite soon after it opened and while we’ve been there a few times it has only been for a restorative coffee and cake after a shopping trip.

The food has always looked pretty good and we have meant to time a shopping trip so we could do an early dinner, but somehow we’ve never quite managed it. We’re either there a touch early or we’ve just bought something highly perishable for dinner.

However, a couple of weeks ago, the planets aligned and we were finally able to try out the food. We were so early we certainly didn’t have to worry about finding a table and soon we were all settled in, with the toddler happily demolishing a babycino and us tucking into the complementary (and very good) bread.

Andy chose one of his pub favourites – no, not a schnitzel with gravy, but the seafood platter: salt and pepper prawns, petite whiting (what on earth is that?) and chargrilled calamari, served with salad, chips and tartare sauce. At $22 this is not only cheaper than many pub seafood platters but Andy announced that it was significantly better. It was a generous plate of food – even if he did have to share his chips with the toddler.

Balthazar Cafe

Because I figured the toddler would be very interested in Andy’s plate of food, I ordered the penne al gamberi: penne with prawns, crab meat in a chilli, tomato and cream sauce. This was a very generous plate of food and the prawns were big, fat and juicy and not stinted on. The sauce had plenty of flavour and the chilli was obviously there without being overpowering. I did think that the pasta was a touch overcooked (do bear in mind that I prefer my pasta very al dente) and I thought there was a bit too much sauce. This was a shame because the crab meat was in the rich sauce and unless you like scooping up sauce just by itself you’ll miss out on some of the crab. I’d put these down as very minor criticisms.

The service was, as previously, excellent. The staff are efficient while being friendly and the café is very family friendly.

I’m pleased we tried the food because for a family meal while out doing the shopping, it definitely hit the spot.

I still haven’t tried a siphon coffee so I guess we’ll just have to head back in future …

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