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Sketches Bar and Bistro

Contact Information
In the Hotel Inter-Continental, 117 Macquarie St.  enter from Bridge St.  Phone 02/9240 1210

Cuisine Type: Pasta Reservations recommended  Transportation: CityRail, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay.  Prices: Pasta A$10.90-$17 (U.S.$7.65-$11.90)  Hours: Mon-Fri 5:30-9:30pm, Sat 5:30-10:30pm.  Credit Cards: AE, BC, DC, MC, V

Sketches is a favorite with people on their way to the Opera House and those who really know a good cheap meal when they taste one. Here's how it works: After getting the barman's attention, point to one of three different sized plates stuck to the bar above your head--the small size is adequate if you're an average eater, the medium plate is good for filling up after a hard day of sightseeing (and no lunch), but I've yet to meet a man who can handle the large serving with its accompanying bread, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Then, with ticket in hand, head toward the chefs in white hats and place your order. There are 12 pastas to choose from and several sauces, including carbonara, marinara, pesto, vegetarian, and some unusual ones to dishearten pasta purists, such as south Indian curry. Meals are cooked in a few minutes while you wait.

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