A taste of California has landed at Hillary’s Boat Harbour. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) at Sorrento Quay is the very first Australian outlet of the popular American family restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and can get a little noisy – CPK is a BIG restaurant!
The menu is equally as big with loads of pizza toppings to choose from, as well as many other share plates, soups, meaty mains, a selection of pasta dishes and salads. There’s plenty of international flavours, including lots of American influences – think Jambalaya fettuccine, mac n cheese, chopped salad and roasted NY strip.
As pizza lovers we were all keen to check out this new joint, though I had heard a few mixed things about it online. I figured I’d try and ignore all the negative noise and give it a go myself. It is still a new venue after all, maybe they had had a few teething troubles?
The old Jetty’s restaurant is all shiny and new. It’s light, bright and has a modern nautical feel. There’s tables, comfy sofas and cosy booths. We sat at a table by the open window, giving us a lovely view over the harbour and kiddies beach.
The drinks menu is also extensive, with a good range of drinks and some tempting looking cocktails. My photo turned out a bit rubbish, but here’s the “Ultimate” Bloody Mary, $18. It’s a growing trend that’s stemmed from the “Freakshake” milkshakes, that’s now spilling over to alcoholic drinks too. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, house-made Diablo horseradish sauce, tomato juice, fennel salt rim topped with spicy pepperoni, mozzarella, olive, fresh lemon and thyme. It’s a bit random to have a meat garnish on a cocktail, but I’m told it was a good version of a Bloody Mary.
When our meals arrived, Chef enjoyed the mushroom, pepperoni, sausage pizza, $23. Its topped with Swiss brown mushrooms, pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, freshly torn basil, mozzarella and wild Greek oregano.
I chose something a little lighter and loved the prawn and zucchini pasta, $25. Zucchini ribbons are sautéed with lemon, garlic and white wine and tossed with a little parsley, parmesan and a touch of fettuccine. I love pasta, but sometimes find it heavy, so this dish gave me the best of both worlds.
The kids menu has a lot of choice – especially if you have a little pizza lover in your family. As well as pizza there’s grilled chicken, a selection of pasta dishes and salads. We were happy to see lots of healthy options, but of course Little Chef just HAD to choose pizza! For a child’s main meal and a drink it costs $10. Little Chef chowed down on his Hawaiian Pizza, topped with pineapple, smoked ham, tomato sauce and mozzarella. The delicious pizza bases are freshly made on site, you can see the Chefs toss their dough in the air in the open kitchen.
For their drink, kids can choose between juices and milkshakes that are flavoured with fresh fruit puree, milk and ice cream. There’s raspberry, coconut, mango and banana to pick from, which makes a nice change from the regular suspects of soft drinks.
We were all too full for desserts, but I hear the smores at CPK are a must try. We enjoyed our meals and we were also dining with another Chef (Chef’s brother the Pastry Chef), so there were 3 hard to please people at our table. I was paying close attention, but couldn’t fault it. The food was tasty, the service was fine, the prices were reasonable and we’d go back again. What was also very helpful was the separate billing. It’s a good spot for a casual family meal, as long as you don’t mind the noisy atmosphere. Welcome to town CPK.