restaurant review | Raffinato, Pyrmont

Jay keeps me on a strict monthly entertainment budget, so to get the most out of it, I buy deals though Ourdeal or Cudo or LivingSocial.

I bought a dinner deal for new restaurant Raffinato Italian Restaurant in Pyrmont (the old Spanish tapas restaurant site next to Furisato on Harris St) a few months ago and kept planning to book in. Only when I realised it was about to expire I booked and they were kind enough to extend the deal for me.

Our deal entails a cocktail each on arrival and a choice of 2 courses for dinner for $59 (which we prepaid earlier but is to the value of $179).

On entry into the cocktail bar/lounge area I am impressed with how much they have changed the space since it’s previous owners. It’s lovely and cosy and a great local place to have a quiet drink after work.

cosy cocktail lounge

We sit and order from the cocktail list. I have a French Martini and Jay has their take on an Old Fashioned called the Old Faithful made with fresh passionfruit (which surprisingly works and tastes amazing!)

Passionfruit Ole Fashioned & French Martini

Waiting seems to be the theme of the evening. We have to wait a while to be seated (although the restaurant isn’t full and our table is empty) but we finally get seated.

table setting

Jay and I both choose an entrée and a main. 

Jay orders the Blue swimmer crab and mussel soup served with garlic croutons

zuppa di granseola e cozze servita con crostini di pane allaglio

He enjoys the seafood but is disappointed by the broth which is obviously a beef stock. It’s served with two wedges of sourdough that is a little on the stale side and without a garlic flavour.

I order the lightly fried southern calamari, roast garlic, basil and lemon

calamari saltati, sapore di aglio, basilico, e limone candito

The calamari is fresh and delicious. But the dish is thrown off-balance by the bitterness of the rocket leaf it’s served on. The saving grace are slivers of preserved lemon, which are sheer joy.

We order a bottle of Italian red wine which is really lovely and full bodied. I don’t know anything about Italian wines, but I think it tastes similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a 2008 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Toscana.

For mains, Jay wants the veal with mushrooms and provolone cheese, but alas they are out, so he orders the replacement which is a beef fillet with horseradish butter and served with roasted beetroot, eggplant and sweet potato mash

beef fillet with horseradish butter

He says the beef is a nice tender cut but the horseradish is a little overpowering. There is plenty of beetroot and extra eggplant, but the vegetables are all cold.

I am a huge fan of seafood pasta, so one look at the angel hair pasta with blue swimmer crab meat, cherry tomato, garlic, white wine and chilli and I’m all in.

capelli dangelo alla granseola, pomodorini pachino, aglio, olio e peperoncino fresco

The cardinal sin is committed and sitting on my plate. The angel hair pasta is so over-cooked that it turns into mush. A complete disappointment. The contrasting texture between the over-soft pasta and the tough tomato skins is just too much. How hard is it to get pasta al dente? Especially if you’re an Italian restaurant! I’m really upset.

The warmth of the wine flowing through me is making it seem less of a drama. 

affogato al liquore

Not one to pass up an Affogato, Jay orders his served with Frangelico. It’s served with vanilla gelato instead of ice-cream. It’s good.


I’m not usually so tough with my restaurant reviews because it’s pretty hard to disappoint me. There was a total of $5 savings with the deal. What we spent upfront, the value of what we ate and the additional items we ordered, it’s definitely disappointing. I highly recommend against eating at Raffinato’s. There are just too many other great places to eat in Pyrmont where you get better service, quality and value. Still, if you’re tempted, try it for a drink before heading out somewhere else for dinner.

Ψ Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (purely for the cocktails, wine & Affogato)

Raffinato Italian Restaurant
46 Harris St, Pyrmont NSW 2009 

Published by thisismelly

Mel @thisismelly lives a life of adventure, gets lost in farmer’s markets, regularly indulges in movies, loves to whip up gourmet meals in the kitchen, swears that one day she will learn to speak French properly, adores candles and fresh flowers, married her high school sweetheart, visited 19 countries and counting, fears an apocalyptic rage-virus, regularly spoils her cavoodle Harley, loves walking along the harbour, is decorated with ink, muddles her right & left, seasonally switches between blonde and brunette, has soul-mates, favours painted nails & dangly earrings, always orders the 'plateau de fromages', is obsessed with British or Scandinavian crime fiction, detests creepy-crawlies & people who take too long to order coffee, gives terrible directions, makes up crazy dances for her devilishly handsome husband, believes in good, would always be dressed in Saint Laurent, Gucci & Chloe if she could, adores Tex-Mex & Japanese, loves the smell of rain & evening jasmine, may be addicted to Instagram&Pinterest, is always on the hunt for a really good macchiato, is James Taylor’s biggest fan, gets rowdy with tequila, dreams every night, takes pickles, jalapeños & dried fruit for movie snacks, would hate a world without French champagne, adores Pantone 1765, almost always wishes she was lying on the sand in the sun, is an inconsistent Paleo convert and although she is a hopeless Francophile she will forever be smitten with Sydney.

One thought on “restaurant review | Raffinato, Pyrmont

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: