Monday, April 18, 2016

Bar Zini, Pyrmont (NSW) by Bilby Blue

It was great to stretch my legs after sitting all day in a conference. I had three days in Sydney – the weather was warm and sticky and the air-conditioning in the conference venue was doing its best to simulate Antarctic conditions. The feeling in my fingers and toes was gradually returning to normal, and it was time to find some dinner before returning to my hotel and tackling all the work tasks that needed to be finished before the start of the following day.

I was staying in Pyrmont, but wasn’t in the mood for the various name venues at The Star. I wanted something intimate and comfortable, where I wouldn’t feel self-conscious by being a solo diner. Bar Zini ticked all the boxes.

In the evenings, Bar Zini transforms from a small neighbourhood breakfast/lunch café to an Italian-inspired bistro. While there is an a la carte menu on Thursday through Saturday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are special nights – “Pasta & Pinot” and “Roast & Vino” respectively. $25 gets you a main plus a glass of wine.

Ricotta ravioli with pumpkin puree and sage burnt butter sauce
Ricotta ravioli with pumpkin puree and burnt sage butter

The blackboard dinner menu changes every night. On the Tuesday I visited there was Sicilian olives, bruschetta, a salad, a choice of two pastas and one dessert. Given the tiny kitchen, it is not surprising that the menu is quite compact.

After a recommendation from my friendly waiter, I decided on the ricotta ravioli with pumpkin puree and burnt sage butter. I wasn’t drinking wine, but I was offered a substitute, and selected a CAPI sparkling grapefruit drink.

Tap (TM) water at Bar Zini
I was also intrigued by tap™ water – an initiative by Sydney Water to encourage consumers to switch from commercial bottled water to more environmentally sustainable tap water. Sydney Water supplies registered cafés with the reusable branded water bottles, which are filled as required.

The ravioli was magnificent. Soft cheesy pillows, incredibly smooth pumpkin, sweet nuttiness from the burnt butter, crispy sage leaves and a light sprinkling of a hard cheese (possibly parmigiano reggiano). I scooped up every drop.

I had been contemplating the bruschetta – with ricotta, mushrooms and pesto – as an entrée, but decided it would be better suited to share. The ones served up to the other diners looked fantastic – and very generous in size! It would have been a whole meal by itself. The salad – rocket, radicchio, pistachio, red grape and feta – looked equally splendid, as did the alternative pasta – pappardelle with lamb bolognaise.

Red wine poached pears with Nocello chocolate sauce
And I succumbed to dessert temptation – red wine poached pear with Nocello (walnut and hazelnut liqueur) chocolate sauce, hazelnut crumble and vanilla ice cream.  Pretty good, although one of the pear halves could have done with another few minutes in the poaching liquid (still a bit firm).

Bar Zini is rightly very popular with locals – with a constantly changing menu there would always be something new to try. Snug and cosy inside, the more popular tables were outside on the footpath – a very pleasant spot on a warm evening.

Bar Zini, Pyrmont NSW


We loved it
We loved it.


This is a great place with fantastic food, and the friendly staff make you feel very welcome. The $25 pasta deal on Tuesdays is excellent value for money.

Find it at

Bar Zini
78 Harris Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Telephone: (02) 9660 5718

Bar Zini Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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