Opened last year, this eatery is an unusual combination of pastry shop and pub located for away from the center, right on the busy ring road that surrounds Pula. The place lately receives a lot buzz and many people told I have to check it out for their fair prices, abundant portions and daily marenda specials.
I was not very enthusiastic to go for marenda far from the center. Maybe I am snob, but I’m not like most people from Pula that for some strange reason tend to avoid the center of this town and prefer to go out and to eat in venues located at the outskirts of the town, preferably near some ugly road or big crossroad. Sometimes I joke Pula people would feel at home in LA. They are too in love with their car.
The building in which bistro Sydney is located doesn’t have very inviting appearance but the interior decor is not so bad – a fusion of elements reminding of American diner and fake stone walls like in a traditional Istrian konoba. I arrived around 1 PM and the place was not too packed, the marenda rush hour is around 11.30 AM. Nevertheless, the service was quite slow.
As you can see from the menu, the marenda specials change every day. The offer is mostly cafeteria style or on the level of two star hotel, so don’t expect too much creativity here. While there are potatoes (steamed, mashed, fried, baked…) in almost every dish, healthy greens are almost absent.
I ordered the Rib Eye steak (ramsteak as they call it here) but the waiter didn’t ask me for the doneness I want. What I got was a tasty piece of meat but ruined in the kitchen – it was way too overdone so it became dry and too chewy. The green peas were OK, but again overdone. I should stop dreaming about having big bot blanching technique used in Croatian restaurants. Restani krumpir (patate in tecia, a kind of mashed potatoes sauteed with onions) was too dry, they should have put a bit of water in which potatoes were cooked. For my taste there wasn’t enough onions inside.
To conclude, the whole meal was quite tasty because the ingredients were of good quality. The problem lies basically in bad cooking. The chef of bistro Sydney is either inexperienced fellow or he belongs to the old-school generation of chefs who doesn’t want to change their outdated style of cooking.
But I’ll be back here, I have to give him the second chance. Maybe he or she is better in preparing pasta or risotto? And I am also intrigued by some dishes on the menu based on sweet water fish.
Bože Gumpca 34, Pula
phone +385 52 545-462