‘Criniti’s’ Darling Harbour Review.

Hey Nibblers!

          As I mentioned in my ‘Banh Bong Lan’ post, my Mummy just recently turned 50! To celebrate, Mum wanted something with a good atmosphere and she loves the weekly Darling Harbour fireworks so I chose ‘Criniti’s’ at Darling Harbour. I’ve eaten here about two times but I can’t remember much of the experience so it was great to come in with no expectations. Mum also wanted to try those 1M pizzas ‘Criniti’s’ offers so may as well use her birthday to try it. I know she loves the view so I booked about three weeks in advanced and requested a table next to the window for the view. They delivered and gave us a table outside with a great view of the harbour and heaters around us so, those Autumn chills were not felt at all. So far so good, Criniti’s!

Criniti’s Darling Harbour
Where: Level 2, Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour 2000    Website: http://www.crinitis.com.au/about.html

We were able to sit at a table on their balcony area, overlooking the harbour.

For our entree/ appetizer we ordered the ‘Calamari Fritti,’ ($19.90). On the menu, the dish is described as a crispy salt and pepper calamari with rocket and balsamic dressing. Every time I see salt and pepper calamari, I just have to have it. Presentation wise, it was good. The lemon they had on the plate had a mesh cover to stop seeds from falling which is a nice touch. Portion size was decent but when it came to taste, the calamari was salty. It was perfectly crispy and cooked however, after a couple of pieces, the salt took over.

Calamari Fritti ($19.90) – Overall great looking dish but, too salty.

The second appetizer was at my brother, Richard’s request. He’s not a huge fan of Italian cuisine so I made sure he picked a dish that appealed to him. He chose the ‘Wood fired sausages’ ($18.90) a ‘wood fired pork and pepper sausage, parmigiano, rocket, cannellini served with Italian bread.’ I liked the presentation of this dish. The rustic look and how we’re able to see all the components in this dish was appealing. In terms of taste, nothing amazing. It was a pretty damn good sausage though. I love everything sausage so, a bit bias on my side. But it didn’t leave an oily taste in my mouth afterwards which is good, makes it feel less fatty than it is. The rest of the components was so, so. Nothing spectacular apart from this dish apart from the fun presentation.

‘Wood fired sausages’ ($18.90) – great presentation but, it stops there.

For our main, we ordered the ‘Gnocchi ai quattro formaggi’ ($22.90), ‘home-made gnocchi with gorgonzalo, parmigiano, mozzarella, scamorza, cream and parsley.’ I love gnocchi and I loved this gnocchi. It is really cheesy but if you ordered this without reading the description and complained, it’s all on you. I think it’s great as a sharing dish but, not as a main for one. The mixture of all the cheeses work well and give a very pungent taste so, if you’re not a fan of cheese, don’t go for this one. I loved the floral plate they displayed the gnocchi in. Would love a plate like this for myself.

‘Gnocchi ai quattro formaggi’ ($22.90) – for the cheese lovers

The next main we ordered was the ‘Linguine alla scampi’ ($32.90) ‘Western Australia Scampi, pomodora, pachino sugo, olive oil, chilli, parsley in a red garlic sauce.’ I loved the presentation of this dish. Having the scampi on display, still in it’s shell just made the dish feel put together, fresh and reminded me of a dish I would receive on a holiday at the beach. The linguine was al dente and every strand was well coated in the garlic oil which was delicious. It was just a light dish that worked well in between the heavy dishes. While the scampi was not enough for the six of us to share, have a hint of it was enough to take you to paradise.

Linguine alla scampi ($32.90) – simple and light.

Lastly, the 1M pizza. We were allowed to choose three flavours and being a carnivorous family, I tried to choose meaty toppings. We chose ‘Azzuri,’ (proscuitto, bufala, mushrooms, artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, basil and ricotta), ‘Minchia,’ (ham, pancetta, salame, capsicum, mushroom, mozzarella, olives and red onion) and ‘Padrino,’ (chicken, advocado, mozzarella and semi sun-dried tomatoes.)

From left to right: ‘Padrina’ ($28.50) , ‘Azzuri’ ($32.50) and ‘Minchia.’ ($29.50) Prices based on 30cm offerings so our 1M pizza cost $90.50 altogether.

I felt all the topics were great but there a quite a few topics that you could choose from to satisfy your own tastebuds. I felt the ‘Minchia’ topic had a generous serving of meats but didn’t have enough sauce on the base which made it a tad salty.

          The ‘Azzuri’ section of the pizza was delicious. I love proscuitto and basil and with the dollops of ricotta, it was perfect. They were quite generous with the proscuitto too which is a plus for what you pay for it anyway.

          My least favourite was ‘Padrina.’ They weren’t generous at all with the chicken/ advocado toppings and no stand out from this one.

With my main men. My brother, Richard and boyfriend, Kevin. Views from our table.

We couldn’t finish all the pizza, so asked to take it away. They gave us our own pizza box which I like so, don’t be scared to ask if you don’t finish it!

Criniti’s take-away box
Staff took a while to grab our bill so Kevin decorate the box


         All in all, service was pretty good at the start through to the finish, However, they took a while to clear finished plates and they did take a while with bills and such. We couldn’t wait much longer as we wanted to head off to Vivid Sydney afterwards so, I had to walk up to a waiter myself.
         In terms of price range, it’s not the cheapest dinner. All up it was $226.10 including drinks for six people which isn’t too bad but, in terms of taste and proportions I feel it is over-priced for what it is. It has a great atmosphere if you’re prepared and book in advanced and know roughly what you want to order as it might be hard to order when they’re busy. I think Criniti’s is good for group dinners but not so much for an intimate gathering. My parents mostly loved our table and setting and they liked the overall experience with the pasta and 1M long pizzas but would not be a top place on their list nor mine.
        Now, for shots from Vivid Sydney. The light festival is still on until the 10th of June so, if you still haven’t been and are a sucker for pretty lights you should schedule for a lovely evening out. Expect crowds though!
Crowds at Darling Harbour waiting for weekly fireworks with my Mumma (The Birthday Girl).


The Contemporary Art Museum – cubed
Peached lights
The lovely Opera House
What are you looking at?
One of my favourite light projections of the night – Cadmans Cottage

For more information about Vivid Sydney check out their website here: http://www.vividsydney.com/

Hope you all had an amazing weekend!

         Nibble Away,

                  Jo x.


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