A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published March 26th 2013
Allow me to introduce you to Kyle Bay. This is a peaceful, green suburb to the south of Sydney city; with a calm, shimmering blue bay at its heart. Close to the edge of the bay within The Kyle Bay (a local community venue), is Zippo's fine dining A la carte restaurant. This relaxing and sophisticated venue was the most ideal place to indulge in culinary delights upon a lazy Sunday.
The interior is illuminated by sunlight entering the large glass windows enclosing the room. It is shaded in earthy browns, and brightened by splashes of colour from pretty floral arrangements. The comfortable ambience is enhanced by little decorative trinkets like vases, pot plants and candles across the set of shelves.
As soon as we were seated at our designated table, the accommodating waiters immediately tended to us with menus. Throughout the entire lunch, the staff ensured we were perpetually satisfied in all aspects. They even voluntarily fetched a hotter bunch of chopped chilli from the kitchen in response to our comments about not really feeling the spices.
The staff started us off with the drinks menu.This consisted of a series of of sparkling and non-sparkling wine options; as well as a list of cocktails (generally $16) that includes the restaurant's very own 'Zippo's on the Bay' with vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple & cranberry juice. I plan to try this upon the next visit. We enjoyed a lovely bottle of French bubbles ($48) for today, the name of which has completely escaped my mind.
The restaurant focuses on, but is not limited to seafood delights. The selection of entrees we had were the 'surf & turf' ($25) that combined pork belly, scallop, calamari, soy bean, pickled enoki and lemon emulsion; and the 'Devil's soft shell crab, prawns & calamari' ($22) covered in salt, pepper and chilli flavouring. Both dishes were rich in flavour, and will definitely be relished all over again on future visits.
To our surprise, we received an interesting complimentary starter dish. It was the 'chef's interpretation of tomato soup' A set of minuscule glass cups (one for each of us) were filled with little ingredients. By this I mean a small ring of onion, soybeans, lentils and sprouts. A consommé was poured over these; this had the flavour of a sweet tomato juice. I found this dish a pleasant, refreshing start to our meal. The traditional starter of freshly baked bread shortly followed with the accompaniments of olive oil, salt and balsamic glaze for dips.
Our selected main meal dishes were the very generously portioned linguini seafood ($35) with Moreton Bay bugs, scampi, prawns, mussels & calamari; the tasmanian Atlantic salmon ($36) with tagliatelle, and as something different from the seafood trend, the Victorian Wimmera duck ($36) with sweet roasted chestnuts, lentils, witlof and brussel sprouts. The sweet flavouring of the duck (which I had) was delicious.
In addition to our mains we ordered a smorgasbord of side dishes. We got a rocket & parmesan salad ($8) with sweet juicy pear slices; steak fries ($6) because who can ever resist chips; and one of my all time favorites which I was hanging out for the entire time, the cauliflower gratin ($8). The melted cheese was heaven!
The flip side to being filled up by all the delicious Zippo's food consumed thus far was that we had no room left for dessert. I cannot wait to try the chocolat fondant ($15), the lemon meringue pie ($15), or the banoffee iced terrine ($16). The latter involves the scrumptious-sounding combination of banana, salted caramel ice-cream, chocolate ganache, and popcorn. Hopefully they will allow me to just order all of the desserts and have a buffet for myself on the next visit. Overall though, all of us were very satisfied with the feed Zippo's provided.
Zippo's fine dining on the ground level, with the bar & grill on top.
If you are not particularly in the mood for fine dining, Zippo's also has a Bar & Grill that sits just above the restaurant. I am yet to visit this, but one appealing element it has that the restaurant didn't seem to offer, is the option of dining in the open air. I imagine it a lovely experience to dine out on the brasserie's balcony on balmy afternoons like the one we had today. It would also provide an even better view of the sparkly water that is the essence of Kyle Bay. The Bar & Grill also appears to have a more family-friendly atmosphere, while the restaurant offers an intimate ambience. I guess you can say Zippo's has the best of both worlds covered.
On an additional note, the area just in front of the complex is very pleasant and is worth a visit before or after your meal (or even both). Kyle Bay is excellent for a serene beach-side stroll, a bask in the sun on the grass or sand, and if it's warm, you could even factor in a little swim. I've also sighted several people bring their canoes along for a paddle upon the waveless, glistening waters. So if you plan to make your visit to Zippo's during a lunchtime, I highly recommend incorporating a hangout in the beautiful Kyle Bay surroundings into your agenda.