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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Forgive me folks, for another Coming Soon post coming rather late.

It was all hot news last month but now the reviews (and delicious) photos have started rushing in over the degustation-only Sixpenny of Stanmore. Opened by Dan Puskas and James Parry the little Percival Street shop exudes faint wafts of Noma charm and offers diners the choice of a 6 ($105) or 8 ($125) course degustations with wine.

Another debut is the almost month old Spencer Guthrie, the little 30 seater restaurant is pushing a  succinct organic menu with Troy Spencer and Oliver Guthrie weaving their sustainable philosophy through the fit-out as well as the food.

Newtown locals wanting a bit of difference can now switch their bacon and eggs for a breakfast burrito or cornbread at Silverbean.

As those poor folks who’ve tried to get a table at Billy Kwong‘s any time later than say…5 minutes past 6 will know, this means finding yourself queuing at the no reservations venue for over an hour. Luckily you’ll be delighted to hear Kylie is hosting an event with bookings (hurrah!) to get back in touch with her roots and the casual Chinese Sunday brunch scene; for $37.50 you’ll get to sit down for a communal three course set lunch.

Berta has been holding sagra dinners for over a year now and Spiedo are joining the celebrations too. Twice a month they’ll be hosting the 5-course seasonal produce themed dinners. While ‘figs’ and ‘rice’ have passed we can still look forward to ‘tomato’ (21, 24th April), polenta (22, 26th May), potato (5, 9th June) and ‘beetroot’ (17, 21st July).

And of course who can escape the news that Matt Moran has expanded his empire once again. This time with Peter Sullivan on board the duo have opened Chiswick a beautiful country styled restaurant amongst the gardens of Woollahra. The kitchen have their own garden and are experimenting with serving food on salt plates – how progressive! Models and ladies of leisure have been scrambling to get a table so maybe wait a while for the hullabaloo to subside before paying a visit.

Happy eating!

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I’ve kept this hidden for a few months now, but I think it’s time to air out my secret and come clean. I think I’ve found the best sausage roll in Sydney. Sure, it’s a big claim and I’m being rather brash, swinging it out there and all that but I’m convinced the butchers of La Macelleria have managed to perfect this Aussie icon.

Now I know that fans of Bourke Street Bakery might protest and I do love their beautiful rendition with aromatic fennel and who can turn down a lamb shank pie from Black Star or a vegetable quiche from La Banette? But for me, the Bondi butchers currently hold residence on the first-place dais.


Clockwise: Yellow Berkel slicers, Panini, Glasseye Creek Wild Meat Sauce, Salumin and Cheese menu board

This up market Italian butchery opened late last year under the care of Maurice Terzini and Robert Marchetti: if these two seem familiar it’s because they’re the guys behind the Bondi institution Icebergs, North Bondi Italian Food and the new Nield Avenue. Never ones to fall short of a dazzling fit out, La Marcelleria’s a lovely clash of traditional (black and white tiles and chalkboards) with the urban (neon type), populated by organic, locally sourced meat and home made salumi. Everything is lovingly shown off, dangling in glass cabinets or artfully arranged in bowls and baskets. If you’re interested they have a rotisserie with organic chickens and stuffed spatchcocks, meat drippings and thick gravy as well as a panini bar, or perhaps you can ask one of the staff in spotless white smocks to shave you some salumi or freshly mince a cut of meat for you to take home and prepare yourself.


Footlong Berkshire Pork sausage roll $12.95

We were merely peckish and thought to give the Berkshire foot-long sausage roll a try. Jen and I sat by Bondi beach to halve the gleaming sesame and poppy seed speckled log; the pork was fresh and intensely meaty with little moments of flaky pastry breaking through each mouthful. I have to admit we initially broke the roll into three but seeing as the third person was running late and it was just too good we shared the third person’s portion and hope she’d never find out what she missed out on.


Sauced up: the money shot

Only the promise of immediate dinner stayed our hand from reaching into our wallets to buy another. Yes it was that good!

The Verdict
A thoughtful Italian upmarket butcher situated next to Bondi beach means a perfect place to stock up your wicker basket and stroll down the beach for a picnic. The staff are well informed and can give you detailed information about where your meat was grown or processed as well as the origins and styles of the products in their salumi bar. Whilst the prices may seem a bit steep this is organic, sustainable meat at its best. Get your 12 inches of heaven right here ladies.

Let me know if you have a ‘best of’ recommendation.

La Marcelleria
t. 9300 6388
a. Shop 14, The Beach House, 178 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach
e. info(at)italianbutcherbondi.com
w. http://www.italianbutcherbondi.com

La Marcelleria on Urbanspoon

I remember the first time I spotted Caffé Sicilia and it’s not what you think.

I was flicking through a fashion editorial when I spotted the models leaning against the most beautiful black and white marbled bar, laden with fruit and rows of gold rim glasses whilst a couple of wisened chefs bustled in the background. It seemed intoxicatingly Italian with all the classic European stylings you’d expect: gold window lettering, black and white tiles, crisp white linen, marbled table tops, pressed steel ceilings, hanging lights and wooden wall paneling.


Complimentary marinated olives

Even in real life I’m entirely enamored with the fit out and as we sit down in the alfreso area and nibble on the complimentary olives, my eyes kept darting between the locals power walking past and the bakery station & bar area within.

Complimentary bread rolls + Warm 3 milks cheese: warm parcel of “3 milks” cheese dressed with truffle honey & walnuts (Normally $22)

A basket of round dinner rolls appeared, tucked snugly within the folds of a napkin; they were baked on site and surprisingly delightful, a nice change from the sourdough infatuation Sydney restaurants seem to have. The cheese parcel turned out to be one large wheel and whilst it was quite moreish, we struggled to finish.

Crudo of Tuna: yellow fin tuna dressed with lemon segments, Sicilian caper berries
& extra virgin olive oil (Normally $15)

‘Crudo’ is a simple Italian dish of raw fish, oil, salt and citrus, inspired by the fresh seafood caught from the Mediterranean.

Homemade Gnocchi Bug Meat:cooked with fresh Balmain bug meat, cherry tomato &
balanced with a hint of chilli & garlic (Normally $15)

Cathy’s entrée was light and simple so it was with great surprise when I was presented with mine. I had been looking forward to trying the new gnocchi and bug meat dish; I had envisaged it to be quite small and light so I was shocked when presented with a plated mound of red, white and green (how apt). This turned out to be my favourite dish of the night: the bite sized portions of Balmain bug and tumble of pillowy soft gnocchi stirred through with tomato and chilli was comfort on a plate and an entirely satisfying meal in itself.

Sweet & Sour Sicilian Rabbit slow cooked farmed rabbit poached with pine nuts and sultanas in a white wine & vinaigrette sauce (Normally $24)

Whilst the prospect of rabbit was intriguing I found this rustic dish to be too Wintry an affair for Summer dining.

Snapper “Acqua Pazza” with mussels, vongole & king prawns poached in a white wine, cherry tomato & parsley reduction (Normally $27)

Reverse meal size envy struck again when this time I was presented with my Snapper “Acqua Pazza”. The classic dish of fish in broth was presented on a mammoth platter with a generous wreath of shellfish surrounding the Snapper fillet.

Curiously, the menu at Caffe Sicilia stops at second course and despite being full I was lamenting not being able to finish off our meal on a sweet note. I needn’t have worried though, as we were soon presented with two small glasses of strawberry and pistachio Sicilian granita.


Complimentary Sicilian granita + Complimentary take away pastries

The texture of these little gems were more akin to gelati which was probably tailored to suite Sydney-siders’ tastes since Sicilians – the original inventors of granita – would protest that the ice should be much coarser though no one on our table was complaining (too busy scraping the glasses clean).

I saw a few tables gifted small parcels as they left and when we received ours we tore open a corner to peek inside and find two house made pastries awaiting to be devoured the next morning.

As I surely felt my stomach starting to high-five the bottom of my lung our waiter approached once again, this time with a cannoli and a moment later returned with a cheeky smile and an additional surprise: a bottle of home-made orange limoncello.


Ricotta Cannoli

Perhaps rather ironically I underestimated the generosity of the Sicilians and was quite surprised at how liberal the servings turned out to be. In truth I was a little saddened that all the waiters had lost their beautifully tailored white dinner jackets in favour of a more relaxed look, but luckily none had lost that cheeky Italian humour.

The Verdict
CafféSicilia prevails in many ways to become a little slice of the old world planted anew on Crown street. The menu features a lot of traditional dishes as well as classic Sicilian fare, although the kitchen may still be trying to find its Sydney connection. The pastry station here produces some fantastic baked treats so if you’ve ever rushed past, take a moment to sit down for an espresso and ricotta baked doughnut or do as the Sicilians do and have an almond granita to go with your morning brioche.

Food in hand dined as a guest of Caffe Sicilia.

Caffé Sicilia
a. 628 Crown Street Surry Hills
t. 9699 8787
e. info@caffesicilia.com.au
w. http://www.caffesicilia.com.au

Caffe Sicilia on Urbanspoon