Vanessa: I think by now it’s fairly clear that distance is no barrier on our quest to seek out good food and this post is yet another example of that. When an invitation was extended for Bianca and I to visit the recently opened PECA in Gledswood Hills, I admit I had to take to Google to find out where this suburb, that I had never heard of, was exactly! Located in the MacArthur region and just off Camden Valley Way, you will find PECA. Although we had little insight into what to expect, I’ll say from the outset that our expectations were beyond exceeded.
As soon as we entered the dining room we were immediately struck by the gorgeous interior and on-trend fit out. An incredible amount of attention has been spent on detail and the dining space is light, bright and very inviting.
The interior of the restaurant is quite large, with a beautiful, well-stocked bar and visibility to the kitchen. High ceilings and big windows let in a huge amount of natural light which further added to our lunchtime dining experience. As we settled in we noted there was also a covered al fresco area where two large groups were hosting celebrations and we instantly started thinking what could be celebrated here!
Starting off with a rose and a cocktail from their extensive drinks menu, we sat back and perused the options whilst continuing to admire the beauty of the restaurant. The menu is inspired by dishes from the Adriatic and are intended to be shared. The menu has a strong Italian overtone but with clear influence from other parts of the Adriatic.
We ordered a few entrees to get our lunch underway. From the pasta menu we chose the Lazanje with South Australian spanner crab, prosecco, chives and pecorino $32. This was absolutely incredible and influenced by the Croation version of lasagne, which is far lighter than the traditional Italian version. This was delicate with every element on the plate working in perfect harmony to create a truly delicious pasta dish.
Another delicious choice from the entree menu is the ricotta & parmesan gnudi with pancetta, sage and almonds ($18). These were cooked perfectly with a rich and buttery sauce. I would love to have these again!
We are huge buratta fans so the local burrata with grilled courgettes and smoked pangratatta ($20) was calling out to us. The cheese was creamy and oozed when cut., My only gripe would be that the courgettes added a bitter flavor to the overall dish.
We chose two sides to accompany the porchetta. The whipped polenta with sautéed local mushrooms and brown butter ($12) is next level. I have never been a huge polenta fan but this dish converted me. This goes so well with the porchetta and to be honest I would be happy to eat it as a main, that’s how good it is!
Sadly due to our own time restraints we missed out on dessert but couldn’t finish without a coffee, which was brewed perfectly. It was a satisfying way to end an incredible lunch.
I would not hesitate to recommend PECA for a nice meal and/or a special occasion. The food is sensational, the fit-out is gorgeous and it’s genuinely a memorable experience. The prices are on the high-side considering location but the quality of the produce used is evidently the reason why. We are planning to return with our Italian family in tow as we know they will love it as much as we did!
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of PECA