Syracuse is one of those restaurants I have been wanting to visit for a while. One Friday night saw us landed there for dinner on one of our date nights (don’t know why we need date nights, seriously). Syracuse situates itself on the Bank Place cafe and restaurant strip on a lovely building. The dinging room itself was gorgeous and spacious, high-ceiling and warm! (why can’t we get our high ceiling place to do that!?) Albeit it trapping all the noise, the Friday work drink crowd was welcomely absent.
Syracuse does your normal lunch menu but it turns itself into a wine/tapas bar during the dinner hours. The menu consists largely of tapa/shared dishes with very few main-sized dishes to suit those who wanted a full dinner. We settled on the shared dishes since they were a hell lot more interesting!
(complimentary bread and butter)
It was quite empty when we got there and they set us on the tiniest round cafe style table. You know those really tiny tables that cafes use because they don’t have enough space? Considering we were one of the four people in the large dining room, I thought that wasn’t necessary.
(Grilled octopus with chorizo, potato, paprika and pickled garlic – $14.50)
Our first dish arrived – grilled octopus (we had this ages ago, although it seems to be en vogue with the German and Dutch fans nowadays!). The octopus was lovely and tender with strong smoked paprika flavour shining through complimenting the chorizo. It was rather awesome. The garlic prawns then arrived. I have never tasted garlic prawns so lovely and refined before (nor paid $15 for 3 prawns either!) but it was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
(Braised goat with sun-dried apricot and pistachio crumble – $18.50)
Next up was the braised chevon. It was so tender and flavourful. The pistachio crumble was a bit of a nice texture contrast. The apricot cut through the fatty meat rather nicely.
We ordered our last dish from the side dish menu. I have to say we love our little vegetable side dishes. We order them wherever we go. The thick chunks of bacon were lovely and smokey and went perfectly with Brussels sprouts. Yum.
By now we were quite full and we weren’t too impressed with the service so we decided to skip on desserts. Overall we really liked the food but the service left a bit to be desired. The service was brusque and perfunctory. It seemed like we didn’t deserve as much attention because we didn’t order wine (either that or the others are all frequenters). There was not a lot of friendliness and it felt a bit strange.
Address: 23 Bank Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9670 1777