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Baia THE ITALIAN, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney, Australia
Sydney used to be more known for its beaches while Melbourne is more known for its food, cafes and culture. However, Sydney is fast catching up and in recent years, more and more restaurants and cafes have sprouted around the city, making it a city that has everything under the sun. Well, nestled somewhere in the heart of the CBD, we visited Baia, THE ITALIAN on Cockle Bay Wharf. Having the impression that nothing could beat the restaurant standards of the famous Lygon Street in Melbourne, we were not expecting a lot when we decided to dine there. However, we were thrilled to be proven wrong. Read on and I bet that you'll be drooling before reaching the end of this post.

Risotto ai funghi - mushroom risotto $25
Pan roasted porcini mushroom risotto with chives, black truffles and cream fraiche
This was a real gem. I normally dislike risottos as I normally find them a little overwhelming in terms of the cream that is used in the dish, however, I am pleased to say that this is one of the best risottos I have had so far. Will have to go to Italy to try out the more traditional and authentic ones before I comment any further :D

Pappardelle alla vegeteriana - $25
Homemade pappardelle with pan-roasted cherry tomatoes soft goats feta, baby spinach and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Pappardelles are extra large fettuccine and this is actually our first time trying it. Until today, I think italian pastas only vary in shapes not that much in taste, unlike chinese noodles which is very varied in all color, shape, taste and texture. Apart from the noodles being a little fatter than the usual fettuccine, I did not find this dish to be anything special.

Traditional Tiramisu - $17.50
The famous Italian Tiramisu is really just layers of homemade mascarporne and lady fingers soaked in coffee liquor and served on a lattice of vanilla bean anglaise and dark chocolate. Tiramisus are one of the most easy DIY cakes but I always would like to explore new and different versions to see if there are any rooms for improvements when I next make them. This is a little drier than my tiramisu recipe and is more of a cake than my serve-in-a-dessert-cup-and-eat-with-a-spoon version. So, I guess the art of dining really depends on the individual which version a diner prefers and there isn't really a perfect recipe that would satisfy everyone. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this version of the tiramisu, though I really do prefer like my own version where the cake drowns in coffee liquor as then the aroma of the coffee is so much stronger which then makes it more indulging than the drier version.
Passionfruit Souffle - served with lemon sorbet and fresh passionfruit - $17.50
OMG! This was definitely a dreamy dessert. The souffle arrived at our table feather light and airy. The crispy outer made it almost something to crave for every single day. Served with a dollop of icy lemon sorbet, this dessert is something to die for. Only downside is that I might not want to pay $17.50 for another one in the near future.

Address: Baia THE ITALIAN, 114 Cockle Bay Wharf,
Darling Harbour, 2000 Sydney, Australia
Tel No: 9283 3434

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posted on: Monday, January 9, 2012 @ 1:03 AM

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- Jamie & Yvonne -
Two avid vegetarians are here to share some insights to the world of vegetarianism.
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