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High Coffee @ The Cortile Lounge, Intercontinental Sydney


I was SO excited when I read in the Sydney Morning Herald that the Intercontinental in Sydney was introducing High Coffee – an alternative to High Tea for coffee lovers.  Being a coffee lover myself I rounded up a few girlfriends and swapped my daily large soy flat white for a teabag the few days leading up to High Coffee!

We arrived promptly at 1pm and were seated at our table quickly.  I was disappointed with the table; we were given a small table with a wall in front of us so ambience was lacking immediately.  The waitress was very friendly and informative and explained the process to us but we were keen to get stuck in!

Espresso Martini with Belvedere Vodka

To start, we each had an espresso martini which, whilst strong, was quite nice.  The coffee bean garnish was a nice touch.  Our trio of sandwiches included a wagyu beef with cucumber relish and watercress Panini, roasted chicken and avocado with semi-dried organic tomato in a linseed roll, and lastly a smoked salmon with mascarpone and preserved lemon on rye.  The wagyu beef Panini was absolutely amazing – moist and tasty.  Although the chicken roll was also tasty it was a bit difficult to eat because of the shape of the roll.  Sadly the rye bread on the smoked salmon sandwich was quite dry and I found the sandwich to be a bit bland (despite the normal rich flavours of smoked salmon).

Sandwiches

We were looking forward to our warm savouries and were not disappointed – the beef burgundy pie was a favourite with all the girls.  The prosciutto and green asparagus mini quiche was tasty and whilst the feta and olive mini muffin was also tasty, it tasted neither of feta nor olive.  To round out the savouries, we had a café freddo with a sugar syrup and milk which was delicious.

Savouries

The next course was probably everyone’s favourite because we all got a bit creative with the condiments.  We had chocolate and espresso crepes, plain and fruit scones, and Belgian waffles with an assortment of homemade strawberry jam, raw sugar, a sweet coffee cream, double cream, lemon, and a mini piping bag of chocolate.

Condiments

Waffle and crepe

By now, our tiny table was getting overly cluttered with the various plates, cutlery, martini glasses, coffee cups, high tea tray, etc.  They had to clear our table numerous times which was probably as annoying for them as it was for us.  Thankfully they were very attentive and accommodating (a friend asked for a pot of tea and they were more than happy to oblige).

We were relieved to have a green apple sorbet to cleanse our palettes – the light fruity flavour was a nice pick-me-up from the richness of everything else.  I could have probably eaten 2 or 3 people’s share of the sorbet!

Green apple sorbet

The sweets plate contained a wattleseed macaron with coffee curd, Baileys cream meringue with a candy macadamia, salted caramel and espresso cream eclairs, opera slice with coffee and chocolate ganache with gold leaf, infused cinnamon and ginger chocolate crème brulee.  To be honest I didn’t try all of them but the crème brulee was a winner as was the meringue.

Sweets

The last remaining item on the menu was the signature ‘Café Corretto’ which is a shot of espresso with a shot of grappa.  I was completely coffee-d out by this point so elected not to have it but some girlfriends tried it and said it was VERY strong.

Shot of espresso ‘corrected’ with a shot of grappa

Overall it was a great afternoon and service was absolutely fantastic – I could not praise the wait staff more!  Unfortunately the small table and the constant foot traffic of waitresses attending other tables made it a bit uncomfortable to enjoy ourselves.  It is great value for money at $55/per person though!

Tray of Goodies

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