Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and watch the world pass you by and at Jet Bar Caffe you can do just that. Floor-to-ceiling windows give diners an uninterrupted view of the beautiful, historic Town Hall building and a chance to watch the crowds outside. Securing a window seat, I watch as office workers hurriedly buy their power-lunches while tourists casually linger around outside, taking snapshots of the impressive Queen Victoria Building landmark.
The location of Jet Bar Caffe is perfect but it is only until you walk in the grand entrance that you can appreciate it in its entire glory. The restaurant has recently undergone a full-scale renovation complete with a take-away espresso bar, wine bar and upper level open kitchen area. Antique furnishings, long communal black marble tables and brass edges create the sophisticated, refined new look.
The menu has also had an overhaul with Southern Italian chef Danny Russo creating the new Italian-Australian menu. Russo explains, “it’s the Italian food we love but with a bit of retro feel”. Skeptical of how this actually translates, the menu is a melange of dishes from burgers, antipasti, pasta and pizzas. However the menu also caters for those seeking a fine-dining experience with whole fish of the day and rib-eye steak options.
An insalata of Italian buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil is like a party of colours on the plate. The colour of each ingredient is so vibrant and rich, it is clear this kitchen is not buying ingredients on the cheap. And once a fork-full of mozzarella, tomato, basil- (all doused in lashings of extra virgin olive oil) hits my lips – my observations were confirmed. For me, this is what I love about Italian food. Simple yet so full of flavour that you feel like you’re eating a meal that would have taken a year to prepare. The generous serving of grilled barramundi with roast peppers, zucchini, olives and almonds was the perfect main to follow the insalata. A dessert of lemon panna cotta, poached rhubarb
and almond biscotti has nice textural contrasts and the flavours compliment one another. So by the end of my meal, if by “retro”, Russo means “homely” and “delicious”, he certainly taps on all the right taste buds.
With all the talk about the new Westfield “glam” food court, I just hope this little treasure won’t get overlooked.
Located on the street level of the Queen Victoria Building, fronting onto George St. (Shop 55). Antoinette and Tony Mowad are the co-owners behind Jet Bar Caffe and have experience in the hospitality industry spanning over 20 years.
Read more about Jet Bar Caffe here