Star Bar
600 George St
Sydney CBD

The Star Bar has been around for a few years - and before that it was Planet Hollywood. However it has gone through a major change in recent times and it is nothing like it used to be. Owner Kim Maloney, who is CEO of the successful Maloney Hotel Group, has invested some serious money into a multi million dollar transformation of Star Bar - and it shows.

It's basically new everything! New decor, new fittings, and the main reason we were visiting - a new Italian themed menu designed by one of the stars of the dining scene - Danny Russo. Star Bar is a big place - there's no point pretending otherwise - but the new fit out has created intimate spaces all around the venue that help eliminate the cavernous feel. There are so many separate areas that everyone can have their space!

We were surprised to discover that Star Bar has its own cinema!

Not to many places can boast that - but you never know what to expect in a venue that has a capacity of 750!

It's an intimate 62 seat theatre that is fitted out exactly like its larger cousins elsewhere - tiered levels down to a large screen, proper cinema seats - the whole shebang.

We were at the new and improved Star Bar for a media launch and as Mlady was unavailable I was lucky to be joined by D to savour the treats on offer.

Our first starter - while we were mingling - was the Star Bar signature mini russolini burgers. These tasty sliders were made with a herb and Parmesan crumbed angus beef pattie with Napoli sauce, basil and melted mozzarella. An Italian touch to an Aussie favourite and very nice as well!

After we sat down we started our Italian Feast in earnest. Our first platter was a delicious Italian antipasto.

It had Italian and local cured meats, cheeses, olives and marinated vegetables. Antipasto is such a great shared starter and this was all lovely.

We also had a bread basket with olive oil and balsamic - perfect with the antipasto!

Then the most colourful and tasty Caprese salad arrived at the table.

It was so simple and yet so nice. It was a lovely mix of torn buffalo mozzarella, cut heirloom tomatoes and basil.

The mix of colours and flavours was great and it was certainly fresh and light on the palate! Even though I'm not a huge salad eater I couldn't stop eating this one!

Then an old Italian favourite arrived - arancini balls. These arancini balls had tomato, mozzarella and basil inside them and they tasted as good as they looked.

Next was a platter of deep fried zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta.

These were beautifully crisp on the outside - like the arancini balls were - and soft and packed with flavour inside.

Italian food is synonymous with pasta and pizza - and we weren't to be disappointed here! A lovely linguini gamberi arrived - with prawns, garlic, chilli, rocket and lemon. I love simple good quality pasta dishes and this was just that!

Our verdura pizza was just as tasty again with a diverse vegetarian topping of eggplant, roast peppers, zucchini, artichokes, pesto and Parmesan shavings.

Of course another traditional Italian main meal is risotto - and we were not disappointed with the version on offer at Star Bar.

This risotto was traditionally made and included market mushrooms, black truffle crema and Parmesan .

It was simple and elegant and so effective with lovely subtle flavours.

Our final main course was a real show stopper. It was slow roasted suckling pig - the whole hog in fact! It looked so impressive as it arrived at the table. This dish had a real wow factor to it and it caught everyones attention when it arrived.

It was served with roast potatoes, fennel, slaw and apple sauce. Fortunately the meat was beautifully cooked as well - and even though we were filling up by now we had to "pig out" some more.

Finally - the finale!

And what else do you have to finish an Italian Feast than tiramisu.

It was described as Danny Russo's homemade tiramisu bowl to share - and it was indeed a big bowl!

It was made with coffee anglaise and chocolate shavings and tasted great.

The new and improved Star Bar is slightly hidden away but well worth finding and trying.

The changed decor looks great and the new menu of Danny Russo is excellent. This is quality food at very reasonable prices.

Star Bar has something for everyone - great food, five bars, function rooms, pool tables hidden away in rooms downstairs and even a Superclub!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Star Bar, Kim Maloney and the Maloney Hotel Group. Special thanks to Kim Maloney, Maloney Hotel Group head of food Rogers Soundranayagam, Maloney Hotel Group Marketing Manager Sharon Coutman and Danny Russo. Thanks also to Kimberley Stewart and Gabrielle Sigelski from Agency G for arranging our visit.

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