Ethical eating. Sustainable agriculture. Farm to Table. Concepts with which we are all intimately familiar. This is not a fugacious trend, these concepts cannot be reduced to a set of transient hashtags. Merivale and Danielle Alvarez know this – taking two years to shape the embodiment of these values into one of the hospitality group’s biggest projects yet – Fred’s.
Tag Archives: Italian
When one is on the everlasting quest for great food, one goes to great lengths to consummate the experience that bestows on us food euphoria on a higher plane. But in doing so, one may sometimes forget that there is excellence everywhere around us. LuMi Bar & Dining is, quite simply, one of the worst-kept secrets in Sydney. In the two years since it opened this Japanese-Italian lightbox, perched at the tip of Pyrmont harbour, raked in awards so fast the yachts & speedboats in the habour seemed positively slothful.
You don’t even have to click into this post to infer that I’m going to wax lyrical about the place – if it’s between reading this piece and making a booking right now, I think you know where my recommendation lies. But for those with a bit more curious? Read on to find out why I think this may just be one of my favourite Sydney restaurants in 2016.
Date Last Visited: 17/09/2016
Address: Wharf 10, 56 Pirrama Rd Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Go-to dish: parmesan chawanmushi
Price Guide (approx): $115 for 8-courses
“We Are ACME”, so the restaurant’s slogan goes. Phew – I had to read it again, to be sure that it didn’t spell “ACNE” instead. When I was a teenager growning up, it was a particularly heinous problem, and heck, even to this day my face can occasionally turn volcanic.
Fortunately, the only outbreak that’s happening at ACME in Rushcutters Bay is of the spaghetti monster – in the best possible way.
Date Last Visited: 17/10/2015
Address: 56 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): baloney sandwiches, black garlic linguine, pig’s head macaroni
Whatever you think of him, you owe Henry Ford some gratitude. After all, he was the one that introduced the concept of a two-day weekend into modern working society, back when it was only one. The things you learn when reading a food blog, right?
Why is this relevant? Two days = at least two chances for cafe hopping. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a proper round of cafe breakfasts/brunches, but I’m glad that when I found the time to get back into it, I found quality in almost no time at all. Thanks for that, Cafe Morso!
Date Last Visited: 2/5/15
Address: 26-32 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, Sydney, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): any risotto on the menu, wild mushrooms & scrambled eggs, kransky dog
For the longest time, I’ve always defined Italian cuisine in terms of stereotyped staples such as pasta, pizza, and the cuisine’s obsession with tomato & garlic.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that – why fix what isn’t broke? Thing is, a cuisine as colourful is that of Italy is guaranteed to – like an onion – reveal much more than meets the eye, if only you were to look.
That’s how I came across Sardinian cuisine. With a focus on roasted meats, herbs and stewed vegetables and emphasis on seafood, it sounded like the perfect culinary experience to treat my mum to for her 50th birthday. With beachside views, a sentimental, homely charm, and most importantly, purveyor of Sardinian fare, Pilu at Freshwater was definitely the answer to the question “who you gonna call?”
Date Last Visited: 15/11/2014
Address: Moore Rd Freshwater, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): oven-roasted suckling pig; saffron & banana budino
You don’t generally associate the terms “value for money” and “two-hatted fine dining restaurant” in the same sentence, unless it’s to say that you can’t find the former in an instance of the latter. Basic economics unfortunately dictate that with the fame, comes the restaurant’s ability to raise prices to whatever that limit the “sky” is supposed to be.
But two-hatted Italian restaurant Ormeggio at the Spit has taken a different approach. Sure, they still have their usual 3-digit degustations and a la carte offerings, but on Sundays, they offer what is quite possibly the cheapest meal offered by a hatted restaurant.
It’s called the “Stressless Sunday Dinner”: 69 dollars, 6 courses, Sunday nights only. Why worry about Monday when you can instead worry about what you’ll do with all the money you save from paying so little?
Date Last Visited: 16/11/2014
Address: D’Albora Marinas The Spit Spit RdMosman, NSW 2088
Recommended Dish(es): veal tonnato, tagliolini, 45C egg, carrot cake
Saving the best for last isn’t usually great advice when you really think about it. Even more so when you’re under a time constraint – it’s why I already outed a massive spoiler alert when I called Flying Fish to have produced this year’s best Let’s Do Dessert.
But just because something is the best, doesn’t mean others can’t make a contribution. Case in point – did you see the cover photo? Holy crap! I had never heard of Signorelli Gastronomia before, but when its pastry chef Vincent Gadan puts up a vertical garden as its debut for Let’s Do Dessert, you know it’s going to draw a crowd.
Best of all, you don’t even need to make a booking. Now there’s really no excuses any more, is there?
Date Last Visited: 16/10/2014
Address: 48 Pirrama Road Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Booking Required: No
Ah, Jones the Grocer. Being backed by the holding company behind Louis Vuitton & Moët and Hennessey, this grocery-cum-restaurant is not likely to suffer the same financial repercussions that other Westfield Stalwarts have suffered. Spiedo, one-toqued Xanthi and even two-toquet Beccasse couldn’t survive the shopping centre dining scene, but Jones is likely to stay.
But am I just implying that Jones is able to persevere purely because of the fact it has conglomerate financial backing? Nonsense, the food is actually able to swing its own, delicious weight around. That sticky date pudding, for example, is just heavenly. Ambrosia amongst decadent desserts.
It was only a matter of time before I descend upon this place once more.
Date Last Visited: 22/3/14
Address: Level 5 Sydney Westfield
Recommended Dish(es): breakfast risotto
I am biased against Darling Harbour restaurants. My posts on the Italian-based Casa Di Nico and Nick’s Bar & Grill show this. They’re not all terrible, but most are really just fronts for good views that happen to provide mediocre food. Food tastes better when girt by a harbour view, right? It certainly works, given that these restaraurants get absolutely packed during peak times. There is a market here, it just happens that I’m not in the target demographic.
Thus, it was with a healthy dose of dubioussness on my latest Darling Harbour restaurant visit to Blackbird Café. I’ve been long before, in a time bygone, when I was just a normal, non-food blogging university student. By current standards, that visit would have scored a 6 or so. Fast forward two-ish years and what do we have now?
Date Last Visited: 22/3/14
Address: Balcony Level, Cockle Bay Wharf Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): kangaroo loin, peking duck pizza
Every big city around the world has a “Little” or a “Town”. What do I mean by this? I mean culinarily speaking – Chinatown, Little Italy, and so forth.
Sydney’s Little Italy is widely regarded to be Norton Street in Leichardt. Die-hard Italian connoisseurs swear by it; I’ll have to take their word for that, as I haven’t actually been myself. Besides, I’m confident Fratelli Fresh is more than satisfactory.
But what of Melbourne? Actually, Melbourne’s Little Italy is even more famed than that of Sydney, primarily because it’s much, much bigger (length-wise), and the quality of the Italian is top notch. Yes readers, we are talking about Lygon St. Like Norton St in Sydney, Lygon St is not in the CBD, so you’ll have to travel a bit.
Totally worth it. Read on for the carby details.
Date Last Visited: 7/7/13
Address: 303 Lygon St Carlton, VIC 3053
Recommended Dish(es): tortellini tartufo