Gourmet pasta at a restaurant for under $15 in Sydney sounds like a fanciful notion – but the newly launched Cre8 Pasta and Tapas Bar on the lower ground floor of World Square has made it a reality, allowing its customers to select from their 10 pasta type options (including 4 different types of ravioli) and pair the pasta with a sauce of their choice.
It sounds like a simple enough fast food concept, similar to the recently opened Vapiano, but unlike them Cre8 do not cook the pastas to order in front of you. It’s a conventional order at the counter and take a seat inside system, though you can watch the chefs at work in the kitchen through the open window inside the restaurant.
Cre8 impressed us with the high calibre of pasta that they served up very quickly. We had opted for the Kumara Ravioli with a Gourmet Duck sauce, and I have to say that the ravioli did live up to expectations considering Cre8’s claim to having Sydney’s best ravioli. The use of kumara (sweet potato) in the ravioli was unconventional, but it paid off, providing the silky pasta parcels (made with parsley and shallot) with a subtly sweet filling seasoned with nutmeg and provolone cheese. The flavoursome Gourmet Duck sauce was a hearty ragu duck with shiitake mushrooms, white wine, oregano and herbs. These two components of the dish blended together wonderfully and we loved the dehydrated apple and beetroot chips placed on top as an unexpectedly luxe garnish for the dish. It was also a rather generous serving for the affordable pricing.
Kumara Ravioli with Gourmet Duck Sauce, $14.80
On the tapas side of the menu, we tried their Manuka Honey Salmon and Caribbean Wings, which were both served in adorable little iron pots. The Manuka Honey Salmon was a winner; the distinctive aroma of this type of honey didn’t overpower the dish at all and instead it enhanced the flavour of the moist salmon cubes, which had been infused with lime and white wine. We wrapped the salmon cubes with a slice of the warm, crispy tortillas served with it and the tortilla added extra flavour thanks to the hit of chilli and cheese on it.
Manuka Honey Salmon, $12.80 and Caribbean Wings, $13.80
The Caribbean Wings were also decent and could be eaten on their own or with the tortillas once you cut off the chicken from the wings. The wings had a lovely smokey BBQ flavour and the creole sauce coating the wings was pretty tasty too.
We were very impressed by the high quality of the dishes that Cre8 served up, considering the very affordable price point that all of their dishes are at. The ingredients that they use are much more gourmet than you would expect for the casual dining market that they are aiming for and the presentation and execution of the dishes were excellent too. Cre8 have nailed the gourmet casual dining concept and we will be back to try out more of their fantastic ravioli!
Cre8 Pasta and Tapas Bar
Shop 9-14, Lower Ground – World Square Shopping Centre
680 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9283 0506