Located in the heart of Cockle Bay Wharf on the roof top level is Cafe Del Mar.
Cafe Del Mar has a fine dining restaurant and a sun deck bar area. The bar offers beautiful views of Darling Harbour and the sunset too.
The restaurant is beautifully set with a marquee top in the middle of a closed room. Tables are spread apart with a good gap offering a little privacy too. We originally sat at one end of the restaurant and later requested to move to another table away from the door. The initial response was that all tables were reserved but on asking again they obliged and moved us to a more comfortable table which was good for us. One little tick there for service.
The first thing we noticed was that pretty much every table around us had ordered a shared seafood stew. The stew was a large main dish good for 2 people with barramundi, clams, bugs & mussels in a broth. While we chose to order differently, the seafood stew was surely a crowd favourite.
The first thing that struck our eye and imagination on glancing at the menu was the watermelon & feta starter. I never imagined a dish with the sweet freshness of watermelon and the saltiness of feta would go together so well, but voilà! it does. The plate looked fabulous with distinct big blocks of red and pink watermelon of almost equal size topped with feta.
The waitress recommended the heirloom tomato dish and we decided to go with her recommendation. It was a plate of colourful & beautifully cooked variety of tomatoes and grilled onion with cheese. Again no disappointments. Perhaps it was all the cheese in the dishes and the huge portions that slowly started filling us up at that stage.
Heirloom tomatoes & grilled onion in a merlot vinaigrette
We decided to sip on some wine and enjoy the view while we decided on the mains. If you are a Citibank card holder, this restaurant will offer you a free bottle of wine to go with your meal. All these little things just count towards the overall experience and make it perfect.
We planned to keep it simple with a pasta for main and salad for the side. To our delight there came a large dish with enough pasta to feed two and a generous portion of salad. With a well cooked fresh pasta dish full of flavour, the second tick comes straight away.
Most fine dining restaurants tend to have a small yet spectacular dessert menu just enough to make even the poor eater want a taste of it. Of the options available we were instantly drawn to the arlette biscuit filled with fruits and coconut custard. When it arrived at our table, we were quite impressed with the look and luckily it was not too sweet, making it a perfect way to end the meal.
Arlette puff biscuit with Fresh mango, passion fruit and coconut custard
Cafe Del Mar, Darling Harbour is a beautiful restaurant with great service fit for a special occasion or even for a catch up with friends. They offer express lunches on weekdays between 12 pm and 4 pm for $25 and a ladies long lunch over the weekends.
If you are not in the mood for a sit down meal, enjoy a drink or two on the deck as you watch the sun set and the lights of Darling Harbour turn on.