[invite] Bianca: New to the city CBD is Secolo Dining. An interesting Italian restaurant serving a modern Aussie/Italo breakfast menu, which then makes way for a focus on Southern Italian dishes. With both Sicilian & Ischian blood pulsing through these FFS veins we were particularly excited to dive in. Even more so when we spied Francesco Spataro behind the pizza oven!
The fit-out is minimalistic yet polished, with a clear emphasis on light wooden hues and caramel tones. We adored the striking green tiled table outside but some rain kept us indoors where we could watch the kitchen work their magic.
With Francesco lending his expertise at the helm of the pizza oven we knew pizza was going to make some kind of appearance but in all honesty, the menu is quite user-friendly. With the option for a long leisurely lunch or a quick run in/duck out scenario.
Co-owner Tanja recommended some stand-outs and we took it from there. The Espresso Martini $18 is worth mentioning, not overly bitter and the perfect amount of sweetness. My Secolo $16 piqued my interest but the lingering aftertaste of egg white was a might too unpleasant for moi.
This really is the sort of restaurant you’ll want to recruit some friends, everything sounds appealing but an onslaught of carbs is not for the faint of heart. Sounding far too interesting on paper to be ignored, the Porchetta, eggplant, cos lettuce, aioli on woodfired focaccia $26. The doughs were quite similar but there was a discernable difference in the lightness of the pizza. But when it hit the table I naturally assumed it was just another pizza as it didn’t look like a ‘typical’ focaccia. Minor quibbles aside, this was extremely tasty. A major Roman staple, the porchetta was tender and juicy, the aioli adding some zing and strangely tying it together, the freshness from the cos.
Burrata has a special place in my heart and with it appearing on so many menus nowadays you really do have to jazz it up to make it stand out from the pack. No such qualms here, Burrata -w/heirloom tomatoes, red onion, basil, croutons, celery & olives $20 is a winner. Varying textures, with salty & sour notes, really heightening the eating experience. I question the inclusion of the celery……because I hate celery but beyond that, this is a must order!
My fondest memories growing up were of my Nonna’s special occasion homemade Gnocchi, I’d yearn for Easter & Christmas to roll around. So it was an easy choice when it came to selecting a pasta dish. The Gnocchi Sorrentina -w/ smoked provola, tomato & basil $21 was a dish to rival Nonna’s. While the sauce wasn’t as developed as our Nonno’s homemade sugo, the gnocchi was light & fluffy, yielding in the mouth with each and every bite. But really making this something special was the smokiness from the melted provola.
And the last of the savoury and worth saving stomach space for. The Prosciutto – tomato, fior de latte, rocket, parma prosciutto & parmesan $25. Simply put, the pizza is some of the best you can get in the Sydney CBD. The dough is light and not overly cumbersome, with the perfect amount of ingredients. I don’t often come across a prosciutto & rocket pizza with tomatoes but I quite enjoyed the addition, just adding a whole other dimension.
Finally, dessert. I had my heart set on the Tiramisu but Alex wanted something a little lighter. The Chantilly & Raspberry Millefoglie $12 strawberries replaced raspberries after a busy lunch service but no complaints here, I love strawberries! The pastry, buttery and the perfect vessel for the light chantilly cream but this wouldn’t be my first choice for dessert, ordinarily, if it doesn’t have chocolate I’m not interested!
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the food at Secolo, I’d be keen to try more of the menu and I was most impressed by the prices, beyond reasonable considering quality, portions and location.
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Secolo Dining.