Bianca: We had been following Pari Pasticceria’s development for a few months once we saw the Oliver Brown sign come down late last year. Any new opening on Concord’s main strip Majors Bay Road (or Majors for those in the know) is met with some fanfare, the locals can be both your champions and harshest critics. Concord’s demographic is fairly mixed but there is still a strong vibrant Italian community. And if they’re anything like my family, they like their sweets…
We’ve been longtime fans of owners, Paolo and Rita’s work over at their Mortlake eatery SUD . With a focus on Southern Italian cuisine, namely the mother country, Sicily. Their latest venture a complete departure, sweets as far as the eye can see. We were treated to the Sicilian staple granita as young children but it’s a rarity in Sydney. With another notable cafe in Five Dock also churning out great granita and brioche.
It’s the kind of place you take your Sicilian Nonni and watch the reminiscing tears stream down their face. Dramatic? Possibly, but never underestimate the power of food.
With a squad of 5, the @4foodssake/ @lickyourphone team descended on Pari, making a fairly sizeable dent in the menu but believe me when I say we didn’t even scratch the surface – there were still so many goodies to be had.
We went a little bit rogue with the food items and Paolo was keen for us to try as much as possible. Starting with some savouries to break up the sweeties.
The Cannelloni was a great indication of the quality of the savouries, perfectly al dente pasta sheets, ricotta and spinach filling all tied together by the well-developed tomato sauce.
We can never go past cheese especially when it’s in the form of Burrata Mozzarella $18.50. Served with a side of house-baked bread to mop up the cream.
And just because we’re #extra a side of Fries, great for breaking up the sweets.
All the sweets, pastries and bread are made in-house. Right down to the brioche used for their Granita con Panna.
We all fell in love with the Setteveli (Seven veils cake). This is probably the cake you’ll be dreaming about and personifies the phrase ‘chocolate lover’. With a sponge layer, mousse, cream and praline crunch, it’s a textural delight.
Peter Clemenza would probably echo the familiar sentiment to “Leave the gun and take the cannoli” if he got his hands on one of Pari’s. The jumbo hot-dog sized Cannoli make quite the impression when they hit the table. Our favourites were the Vanilla, Pistachio and Chocolate.
The Millefoglie was a hit, with the creamy vanilla mixture and crispy pastry.
I’ve never really had anything like the Minne di Sant’Agata. A shortcrust base forms the base for a ricotta mixture and is then topped with pistachio marzipan.
But the real drawcard is the Granita Con Panna. Paolo was keen for us to try several variations. And there were some real stand-outs. I have vivid memories of my first Gelato and Brioche in Palermo 2003, I was 15 and it seemed a strange concept back then. But what a combination.
The Brioche was fantastic, made in-house, they were moist with a light buttery texture. Excellent eaten ‘burger’ style with coffee or chocolate ice-cream. Or dipped in the Granita.
The Lemon Granita and Almond & Coffee were strong stand-outs. Particularly the coffee with Panna. The boys were particularly blown away by the third mysterious granita, a rich red colour made way for a deep conversation about the flavour in question. Watermelon? Rockmelon? With Paolo finally conceding and putting us out of our misery, Fico d’India or Prickly Pear.
I’m excited to bring the parentals and the Nonni (If I can persuade Nonno to leave the house). It’s great to finally have a good pasticceria in Concord again.
Photos by Alex