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Stacks Taverna, Darling Quarter

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Last Saturday the family and I had an impromptu lunch at Stacks Taverna. It’s situated at the new Darling Quarter (opened September 2011) at Darling Harbour. We got there at about 1.30 so as you can imagine, we were quite hungry. I really wanted steak so when I squinted from a distance and saw a picture of a cow, I thought, yep that’s it, let’s go in there.

There’s al fresco dining here but since this was one of the hotter Sydney summer we had this year, we chose to dine inside.

Inside, the tavern is enormous and has a nice earthly facade to it, with a huge screen to the far wall, a small stage and a bar also. They have live entertainment on Thursday and Friday nights as well as $12 Rump with chips or salad on certain days.

At first glance of their menu I noticed that it had quite a take on Mediterranean inspired dishes and there’s only a limited choice of meat from the grill to choose from but much to my own disappointment, I couldn’t have steak the way I usually do which is medium to well (from the pregnancy). So I went with seafood instead.

They have a variety of pizza flavours and just a handful of pasta selections. There’s also a “cook your own” section where you can choose your cut of meat and cook it yourself the way you like it. You can have this with sweet corn or baked potato or a salad. I was on the fence about this one because really, this was a restaurant where you go in, choose your food, have the chef prepare and cook it then you eat it and enjoy it and pay for it. Right? Isn’t that what a restaurant is? Besides I was too hungry and maybe a little agitated.

Pan fried barramundi fillet $35 with chips or salad.

I chose the barramundi with salad of course. The salad was fresh, the fish a good portion and had a lovely crunchy skin. I had to add a bit of salt and pepper for taste though, so being worth $35 was in my opinion, maybe a little pricey.

The hubby had a mouth-watering rib eye steak to which I was very envious of. I guess the only drawback to this one was the amount of tendons it had. That’s okay, I still stared at it and ate it with my eyes.

350g Rib Eye $31 with spinach and red wine jus.

Side of fries $8 with ranch sauce.

Spaghetti Napolitana $12.50 (from the kids menu).

We ordered Spaghetti Napolitana for the little one which when it arrived I thought was a very big serving for kids. The sauce was on the sweet side and not so acidic which was quite pleasant, but because of the size, the little one couldn’t finish it. The upside was we still kept the little one happy with a complimentary ice cream for dessert.

The brother-in-law had chicken breasts with caramelized onions. I forgot to ask him how it was but by the looks of his empty plate when we were done, I’d say he enjoyed it thoroughly.

Free Range Chicken Breasts $25 with fried kipfler potatoes, caramelized onions, broad beans and thyme.

Byron Bay Pork Belly $29 with sauce soubice, dirty granny cider and roasted apple.

Pork belly is something I’ve never tried before in restaurants and when I saw the sister-in-law order this one, I started to wish that I had ordered it too. That crackling skin made my mouth water instantly. She did eat it the wrong way though. Attacking the meat first and then saving the best bit for last – the crackling skin. Eating it this way only leaves for a chewy skin rather than that fantastic crunch of the crackling skin, with its mixed taste of salty, sweet and bitter. I know it’s really hard not to save it for last.

Stacks Taverna
Shop 24/25 Darling Quarter
1-25 Harbour Street Sydney
02 9268 0888
www.stacksbar.com.au

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