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Ragu Pasta and Wine Bar @ Westfield

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by Phoebe Pham (subscribe)
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Published August 8th 2012
When I'm out in the city, there is always a dilemma that almost ruins my day - what to eat for brunch? I mean sure, there is an array of restaurants and cuisines surrounding me but the choices are always between sushi and food that is either way out of my budget, portions are too small, takes too long or are too oil-heavy.

I'm sure I am not alone.

Fortunately, I was recently introduced to a place that solves all my brunch problems at Ragu Pasta & Wine Bar located on the Food Court floor of City Westfield. Ragu offers a range of light brunch plates such as Caesar salad, Salmon plates and pasta dishes. Ragu also has available a bar that patrons can sit at and order their alcoholic beverages from as well as an assortment of coffee/caffeinated beverages.

The Italian restaurant is located on one side of the food court which is relatively easy to find as their sign is quite visible from the escalators coming into the food court. The establishment offers two options- table service and counter service, or as previously mentioned, you may choose to sit at the bar of the restaurant. While with table-service you get service and food brought to your table, but I suggest that you opt for counter service which will definitely be a lot faster and Westfield's sitting option is definitely more spacious. With counter service, once you've ordered and paid at the counter, you are given a buzzer that flashes blue light and buzzes when your order is ready. Don't be alarmed though, those buzzers can be very loud and flashy!

Going there for brunch, I have not had anything to eat before we arrived to Ragu at 11:30 a.m for a pre-movie meal. We arrived there before lunch hour and was served fairly quickly and efficiently. My mixed plate was order, paid for and served without any incidents and boy, was I eager to try it. My mixed plate consisted of feta-filled olives, caramelised figs, slices of salami and walnut for $10. At first, my impression was that was probably an alright price for a plate of salad with some ham inside Westfield at a fancy restaurant, considering I pay the same at an outside restaurant. Boy, was I wrong. The salami when eaten together with the cheese was a taste of heaven and never having liked walnuts before, I was hesitant to try, but once I did, I fell in love with it.

A little incident occurred with my friend's order as she was served by a trainee waiter and he accidentally got her order wrong and she was given the side salad instead of her actual order of Caesar salad. Given that, I could understand how that mistake could be made, but I must give commends to the supervisor in charge who took care of the situation very quickly, and my friend was given her Caesar salad in no time. My friend's Caesar salad had a spin on the traditional Caesar salad. Having kept the regular lettuce and mayo, Ragu put a twist by caramelising their croutons which gave it a sweet after taste and a crunchy bite. Also, instead of grating cheese onto the salad, bite-sized thin slices of parmesan were placed on top, which gave the salad a cheesy and creamy after taste which we both loved.

The décor of the restaurant was very elegant yet very sophisticated. A place that is very suitable for a business lunch but also very good for a first date. Decked out in black and white with a modern touch by lights, Ragu gives out a sophisticated feel that young professionals would want to come for a quick lunch or grab a quick cup of coffee.

Given my first time there, I would definitely returning for a quick bite again. I have yet to try their coffee or their other dishes but I will definitely return and try given my very positive first experience at Ragu.

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Why? Italian. Fast. Cheap. Filling.
Where: Level 5 Westfield Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: $10 - $20 per meal
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