FNZ team lunch at Commodore Hotel, North Sydney (4th April 2012)

It has been awhile since we last had a team lunch and with the Easter long weekend coming up, Julie-Ann rounded up the team for lunch today at the Commodore Hotel located on Blue Point Road in North Sydney. Everyone has been working really hard to get us over the line with the client's project datelines before the holidays and it was nice to get together for a meal in an informal setting - breaks us away briefly from all the demands and stresses at work and allows us to actually talk to one another (the team in North Sydney tend to work in our own silos). Team lunch is meant to be a monthly event but it's more like every quarter for us, perhaps due to the recent company cost-cutting policies (yes, the company pays for our team lunches). Still, better than no lunch at all!

Around 1pm, the team gathered at the lobby of our building and walked over to Commodore Hotel, a short 15-minute walk from our office. It was a sunny day and the Bar & Terrace area of the pub-bistro was filled with groups of office folk like us having extended lunches alfresco. Large weather proof umbrellas scatter all over the outdoor seating area to shade guests from the sun, and with its sleek design and manicured surrounds, the place gave a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. We found ourselves a few tables and joined them up to create a long table to fit our team of 10. "Drinks?" asked Steve, taking drink orders and starting up a tab at the bar. Over the course of the next 2 hours, we chatted over drinks and food, having a few laughs as well - it was nice to see everyone letting their hair down and enjoying our time together :)

The Commodore Hotel has earned a great reputation as one of Sydney's best pub dining. Its bistro menu has something for everyone from a wide selection of in-a-hurry light meals, traditional pub food, grazing plates to seafood, pasta and aged steaks. We got the garlic bread and an assortment of salads for the table to share and each ordered ourselves a main. Lunch for me today was the Crispy Skin Pork Belly (cost $22), twice cooked in master stock served on Asian stir fry vegetables tossed in honey-soy dressing with a side of jasmine rice. Mmm, the pork belly was delicious, the meat so tender it literally falls apart and the skin crisp and crunchy to the bite. Thumbs up from me! Though the pork belly looks rather small when served, it was just the perfect size - too much and you would feel rather greased out. The others seem to be enjoying their meals as well, compliments of the food floating in the conversations. I must say it's one of the better pub dining places I've been to in Sydney and definitely a place we'll be returning to for future team lunches.

Crispy Skin Pork Belly ($22)

Team lunch at the Bar & Terrace of Commodore Hotel
(l-r): Mark, James, Shankar, Steve M, Rao, Andrew, me, Venu and Steve

Commodore Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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