Vanessa: Newtown is fairly unchartered territory for me, having always been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of restaurants and eateries..I don’t deal well with too much choice! However, my recent visit, with Mr M and Baby V in tow, will now see me return on a regular basis.
La Favola, situated in the centre of of bustling King St, is headed up by Italian Chef Fabio Stefanelli who is clearly committed to his passion for delivering fine Italian cuisine to his patrons. As we sip on an Aperol Spritz and a tomato, basil and rum mojito (which was surprisingly delicious ..think caprese salad in liquid form), Fabio shares with us the origins of the business which originally began as a takeaway outlet in February this year. Yearning to recreate the feeling he had back in Italy of spending Sunday at his nonna’s house enjoying home-cooked food with the family, he put a fresh spin on La Favola and turned it into the restaurant that it is today.
Don’t be fooled by the restaurants small and cosy interior, Fabio and his team are creating culinary magic in the kitchen and they turn tables around frequently. The restaurant is open every night for dinner from 5.30pm as well as lunch on the weekend from 11:30am.
The menu isn’t extensive but has enough choice to satisfy various tastes. The primary offering is their fresh pasta that is made in-house daily and can be paired with different sauces, so you have the option to mix and match.
We kicked off our lunch with some starters and, let me say, from the outset we were fairly blown away, particularly with the carpaccio.
The carpaccio of the day ($20) was black angus wagyu topped with crispy kale, parmesan and truffle oil. This was seriously amazing! Never have I had a carpaccio that melted in the mouth the way this did and was complimented so well by the texture of the kale. According to Mr M it was the “best carpaccio he had ever eaten… ever” and he knows his cured meats.
The scampi, served as three whole scampi, halved, was one of their daily specials. The scampi were sweet and subtle in flavor, with the obvious freshness that is evident of great quality seafood.
The caprese salad ($18) screams authenticity with its generous serve of ripe cherry tomatoes and basil topped with mozzarella and a healthy pour of extra virgin olive oil. I could eat this every day without question, particularly when mopping up the juices with some of their foccacia. It’s a no-brainer to add this to your order.
Now onto the main event, the pasta. We went for something a little different from your typical red sauce with the brocoli e salsiccia paired with paccheri pasta ($23) . The sauce is made with pork sausage, brocoli, garlic, white wine and basil. The texture is creamy, yet there is no cream and the bold flavor of the pork is offset well with the subtlety of the brocoli. It’s a great choice for lunch not being an overly heavy dish.
Fabio brought us out one of the specials to try which was the hand cut beetroot taglialini mixed with fresh tomatoes, scampi, octopus, prawns and lemon butter. Again, the same creaminess was evident with out the use of cream. This dish is a wonderful display of flavor, colour and creativity. Those who love seafood with their pasta would really enjoy this one.
It’s fair to say we enjoyed quite the spread but it didn’t stop there…of course no meal is complete without dessert.
Fabio brought some of their sweet offerings and again the quality and taste were outstanding. The Sicilian cannolo ($9) were my favourite and I particularly appreciated that they were small, just the right size after a big meal. Filled with creamy, sweet ricotta topped with pistachio nuts and a super crunchy shell, these are a delight.
One of the dessert specials we tried was the vanilla bean panna cotta which was very subtle in flavour and creamy as you would expect. What helped the panna cotta base sing was the crumble that sat atop. Sweet, textural, yet offset nicely by the slight sourness of the raspberry.
Fabio also makes his own limoncello and mandarincello, both of which are very nostalgic to me as it’s a staple at my nonna’s house. A shot glass of mandarincello and an espresso martini, well that was me done for the day!
We admit that we are hard to please when its come to eating Italian food as we have been so spoilt all our lives by our grandparents home cooked food and pasta. However, La Favola is somewhere that I would not only return to but would be inclined to bring the family to, as I’m confident they would be just as impressed as I was… baby V was certainly all smiles.
For quality, flavor and creativity as well as a very reasonable price point, I would say this is one to put on your list to try!
Photos by Vanessa
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of La Favola, all opinions are our own.