Barnardos Australia is an organisation that probably needs little or no introduction in Australia.

They help stop child abuse.

It's a simple mission statement with a huge challenge behind it. (Click the link above - you'll be amazed at the diversity of their tasks).

Through support from the community they help an enormous number of kids.

This is pretty heavy stuff too - dealing with the kind of things we sometimes don't want to think actually happen, but sadly they do and we can't ignore it.

We heard about a case they had to deal with, to help 2 year old Max and his 4 year old sister Layla (names changed). They endured horrific treatment and serious injuries until rescued. Their wounds will heal but the scars, physical and emotional, will last forever. Read about it by clicking here.

If you want to donate and help stop child abuse - CLICK HERE!

The support Barnardos gets from corporates is also so important. On this evening we were at a function sponsored by Harbourside - the large shopping, dining and entertainment complex sitting right on the edge of picturesque Darling Harbour.

We were at a Progressive Dinner supported by Harbourside and some great restaurants and wineries, to help Barnardos Australia. Our food and drink extravaganza started at the Cohibar. This was our first visit here and the first thing you notice when you arrive is the view. It's spectacular and easy to imagine people dropping in here for a drink and just staying, gazing and sipping. As the sun sets the view is still just as impressive, looking across to the city and it's sparkling lights.

We started with some drinks, red wine in our case, and took in the view.

A short time later some great platters of cheese, fruit, olives and biscuits arrived. That first drink of the evening sometimes really isn't complete unless there's a snack with it. They just go together! In this case the nibbles were very tasty and even though there was plenty there they disappeared pretty steadily.

We then moved to our second stop, the tasty, award winning and diverse Indian restaurant Zaaffran.This place is well known for serving traditional Indian food with their own modern twist - and this night was certainly not going to be an exception. The food of chef Vikrant Kapoor was something we looked forward to finally tasting!

It also has those amazing Darling Harbour views too.

Entree time started and the goodies arrived. We each had a plate with tandoori grilled minted king prawns, smoked chicken tenderloin glazed with garlic, chilli and seeded mustard, crisp beetroot cakes and wheat puffs with spiced potatoes and a trio of sauces. These were seriously good. Sirs favourite was the wheat puff while Mlady said she loved the crisp beetroot cakes.

While we had our starters we also got to sample a variety of wines from Bunnamagoo Estate in Mudgee.

We actually love the Mudgee region and have been there several times. We've also been to Bunnamagoo too - they have the short film festival Mudfest there.

Their wines are great and we sipped on their 2014 Chardonnay and their 2011 Shiraz.

What's to say about Criniti's that hasn't already been said before. This place is an institution - and as a result it has spread it's footprint well beyond Darling Harbour. It's big, bustling and very Italian - as you'd expect.

And yes - they do have the views too - yet again - not that we ever tire of them to be honest. Looking back towards the city across the water by day is lovely, but by night it really is spectacular.

The presence of Burnbrae Wines from Mudgee was also a great opportunity to hear about their winery and taste their delicious drops. As we said before - we do love Mudgee. Burnbrae is another place we've previously visited - and will again return to!

Crinitis fed us and fed us. Boy was there a lot of food - and good food at that too! We had four different pastas - spaghetti con polpette (meatballs and cherry tomatoes), pennette romana (chicken, mushrooms and avocado), tortellini boscaiola (beef with cream and mushrooms) and porcini (mushroom) risotto. We loved it all but Mlady's favourite was the pennette. 

Then there were the pizzas! They were nicely displayed on raised stands down the centre of the table - and rapidly began disappearing onto plates and into mouths - like magic! We had the ferrara (vegetarian with eggplant, mushrooms, onion, capsicum etc), the calabrese (Italian sausage, olives, chilli), the padrino (chicken and avocado) and the suprema ( a supreme pizza with a lot of toppings). They do great pizza here and it's a heavily ordered dish - they even do a 1 metre, 2 metre and a massive and impressive 3 metre version too!

Our final port of call for the night was at the well known Cyren which sits right at the end of Harbourside and is often the first place you come across when arriving there.

It's a big place that somehow doesn't seem cavernous as they've broken their area up into different spaces very well. We've been here before - several times in fact - and it always delivers lovely food and a great experience.

Our dessert was nothing short of delicious. While we're not 100% sure what we had, it was a tart, beautifully presented with a smear of chocolate and fresh strawberries piled at the other end. The tart was rich and coated in powdered chocolate - very tasty. We sipped a few more wines and looked across the water towards the city lights - a great end to a great night!

We felt very honoured to be involved with this great event. Barnardo's has such a tough job to do - and they do it well. They've soldiered on for a long time because they believe in what they do. To Harbouside and the restaurants involved - Cohibar, Zaaffran, Crinitis and Cyren - thank you - you helped a great cause! To the wineries - Bunnamagoo and Burnbrae - thank you too! Finally to Barnardo's - keep up the good fight - you do something so worthwhile and admirable - we are in awe of you all!

Click to add a blog post for Zaaffran on ZomatoClick to add a blog post for Cohibar on Zomato 

Click to add a blog post for Cyren on ZomatoClick to add a blog post for Criniti's on Zomato