Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dish Pizza & Gelato

Dish Pizza & Gelato
Shop 5a
19-27 Cross St
Double Bay

Ph: (02) 9328 9000

Early in December, HG and I caught up in Sydney for a meal at Prime. Rather unexpectedly, she came up to Sydney again, this time en famille, and so the hunt was on for somewhere in Double Bay (where they were staying) for a smackeral of something.

I don't really know the Double Bay restaurants, so the inevitable twitter SOS was sent out.  This arrived back in the form of suggestions for Una's and two pizza places. The decision was left to HG, and so it was that four adults and two under 5s found themselves at Dish, as recommended by @grooviegal

There was some reference by @grooviegal to the identical name shared by the co-owners, and of the bald one being known as "cute X", but twitter time being what it is, I've already forgotten the details, apart from the fact the bald one is apparently the cute one.

At any rate I didn't see any bald chap.

What I did see were children.

A lot of children.

In fact there was only one table there without a token child or five. It seemed that every child that lived within a radius of a kilometre or two was at Dish, an indoors/ outdoors pizzeria located amidst a group of shops, including a toy shop, whose "closed" status didn't deter some of the children from window shopping. 

Kibbeh - middle eastern beef meatballs ($9.50)

Why did I order kibbeh at a pizzeria? Because it was somewhat incongruous, and because I felt that three adults and two under 5s sharing two regular sized pizzas was just not going to be enough. Plus I felt like having some meatballs.

Happily, I managed to eat most of these, which were tender and tasty. Their only negative point was structural; the meat was held together so lightly that they ould not be removed from the bowl without breaking up into at least two pieces.

Fish of the day - Fish Stew

Wishing to be healthy and virtuous, HG went for the fish of the day option, which on the day was this attractive bowl of assorted denizens of the sea, served in a tasty broth that I managed to steal a spoonful of to try. I also took off with a calamari ring, and can attest to its non rubbery status.

Pizza Margherita (Regular size) - $18

Having decided to go on a Pizza Margherita comparison thing of late, what else could I order but the same?

So which reigns supreme? Dish, Pizza e Birra or Dolcissimo?

I'm afraid that for me, it is still Pizza e Birra, for the base and the taste, though I still think that they need a bit more generosity basil wise. Dish were very generous with their basil, and their base was thin and crispy, but the mozzarella and tomato just weren't as good. Plus it was just that little bit overcooked...

Pizza special of the day - prosciutto crudo, gorgonzola, figs, rocket & parmesan

The pizza of the day on that occasion took advantage of figs being in season for a classic combination of flavours. Gorgonzola isn't a personal favourite of mine but I did have a couple of slices of this, as it was not too heavy a presence. What was a bit heavyhanded, was the rocket.  This photo is somewhat deceptive about the height of this pile of greenery, as there was so much that even with some on each slice, there was enough left over for a small salad.

3 scoops of gelato ($7.50)

For the life of me, since I didn't order nor taste them, I cannot recall the gelato flavours that were ordered (blood orange, lemon et al....). I do remember that the first fruitier trio were preferred to the second trio, though all six flavours were enjoyed.


Yes it's me-who-forgot-to-note-down-the-details-of-this-affogato. You can see pine nuts, but I will have to revisit Dish (and I do plan to, as the bowls of fries going past me near the end looked pretty good) in order to get the details. In the meantime, I can tell you that it was a raging success.

However I can comment on the chocolate fondant.

Hot chocolate fondant with vanilla gelato ($10)

When I saw this on the menu, ordering it was a foregone conclusion. Not because of any chocolate lust or fondant fixation, but because HG had ordered one at our last meal together, so it was obviously mandatory that we compare the two.

This version was obviously a less sophisticated version than Prime's, but it was executed nicely, as the second photo of the innards attest to. HG declared both to be good. I'd agree with that; they were both good at their different price points.

I have already alluded to the large number of children at Dish.

I grew up in a family which ate out regularly. My parents did not choose "child friendly" restaurants, and we never ate from "children's menus". With the exception of one regular restaurant, which we basically treated like a second home, spending half our time by the (goldfish) tank chatting and mixing our own (soft) drinks (half lemon squash, half ginger beer), we would remain seated at the table for the duration of the meal and eat whatever the adults were having.  Also, I cannot recall regularly seeing children from other tables running around.

That's one of the things that I noticed at Dish. Because of its location within an enclosed pedestrianised shopping area, it was safe for children to run around at whim, and run around they did. I'm not entirely sure how much time some of them spent at their respective tables, but I did wonder about why they were allowed to run around like this, occasionally getting in the way of the wait staff, and why they were not seated at the table having their dinner, as HG's kids were.

It is nice to see kids eating out and having fun, but I wished that more of them had been yelling and running around a little less, and enjoying their dinner a little more.


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