Cavallino Ristorante Pizzeria, Terrey Hills

It’s not everyday that you see “Margherita with hot chips” under the pizza section in the menu of an Italian restaurant. However, with Giovanni Pilu as the executive chef here at Cavallino we’re hoping that it can’t go too wrong.

Once we enter the restaurant, we’re greeted by a reception desk which makes it seem like a fancy hotel. The restaurant itself is a spacious stone building with lots of mahogany tones and windows, but luckily we’re seated near an open fireplace which keeps us toasty and warm on this chilly night. We select a few entrees, pizzas and pastas to share, including the hot chips pizza (for research purposes of course!)

Naia: margherita with hot chips – $19

We see a standard margherita pizza sitting in the service area, alongside a bowl of fries. Queen Chu wonders if they are going to dump the fries on top of the pizza, and lo and behold that is exactly what they do! We’re a bit alarmed but we dig in anyway. Most of us pick off the chips from the top of the pizza and eat them separately from the pizza itself, but Sir D notes that the salt from the chips ruins what might have been a nice margherita pizza. There isn’t much tomato sauce on the pizza to balance out the saltiness from the chips and the cheese, and we all agree that we probably wouldn’t order this again.

Burrata, pancetta croccante e pomodori (Burrata with crispy pancetta and truss tomatoes) – $16

The burrata is a bit small, but delicious nonetheless. When we break it open, the cream oozes out and the waitress suggests that we top the cheese with the crispy pancetta. So we do, and it is absolute heaven, with the creamy, stretchy mozzarella with the salty, crunchy pancetta. If only there was more on the plate!

Ghiotta: Tomato, mozzarella, ham, mixed mushrooms, porcini, black truffle paste and Parmagiano Reggiano – $23

We go for something a little bit more mainstream for our other pizza and choose the Ghiotta, which has ham, mushrooms, black truffle paste and Parmagiano Reggiano. This one is also quite salty, and although the toppings are quite nice it still needs a bit of sweetness and acidity from the tomato base. JC finds the bases of both pizzas to be too soggy, and while they’re not falling-apart-soggy they’re not crispy at all except for the crust.

Gnocchi di patate con ragu di scorfano (Potato goncchi with rock cod and tomato ragu) – $25

The pastas on the other hand are much more well received by our group, with myself and Sir D particularly liking the gnocchi. The soft pillows of potato are coated in the slightly sweet tomato sauce and there are nice chunks of rock cod and bursts of cherry tomatoes throughout the pasta.

Pappardelle al sugo di coniglio (Large ribbons of egg pasta with Tuscan style rabbit ragu) – $25

The pappardelle is delicious and the rabbit ragu is also lovely and rich without any gamey taste. All the pastas are made fresh every day and they’re cooked perfectly with a nice bite to the pappardelle.

Frittura di calamari: Lightly floured and fried calamari with chilli, salt, lemon and mayonnaise – $15

Our final dish is the calamari which is coated in a very light batter and is super tender. These are so addictive and the salty, slightly spicy batter is the perfect complement with the creamy mayonnaise and a squirt of lemon. I probably ate more than my share of these but they were so good I just couldn’t stop! We were sad pandas when the waitress took away the dish and there was still one piece of calamari left.

The entrees and pastas were excellent and enjoyed by everyone but unfortunately the pizzas weren’t as good as we’d hoped. We found them a bit too salty and I think most of us would have enjoyed a crispy crust a bit more but the pizza toppings were quite tasty. It’s a beautiful restaurant though and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet either, so I would definitely come back to try more of their pastas and mains, and more burrata and calamari as well!

Cavallino Ristorante Pizzeria
Corner McCarrs Creek Road and Yulong Avenue
Terrey Hills NSW 2084
Ph: +61 2 9450 1777
Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday (except Saturday), 12pm-3pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Friday, 6pm – 10pm, Saturday, 5.30pm – 10pm, Sunday, 6pm – 10pm

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12 thoughts on “Cavallino Ristorante Pizzeria, Terrey Hills”

  1. Hot chip pizza?! lol… now I've seen everything! I think the least they could've done was melt some cheese over those fries… now we're talking! And woohoo for burrata, although I'm a bit of a purist – that creamy goodness only needs a spoon :)

  2. I'm a little disappointed that the chip pizza didn't live up to expectations. It looks very cool. Whenever there is rabbit or gnocchi on the menu I will choose them. But if there is both I don't know what I would do. Have to mains perhaps.

  3. I'm sorry to hear the pizza bases were a bit of a let-down but the toppings look great nonetheless. The fries on margherita is a bit of an interesting one – a child's fantasy, perhaps?

  4. Damn I think that Hot chip pizza sounds awesome in theory, shame it didn't work! Haha I think I agree with Helen, pour some cheese over that baby and it would be amazing

  5. Bizarre! I wonder where the hot chip pizza inspiration came from. From the name alone it could be good – but just dumping chips on a pizza? How is that ever good?

  6. Mmm burrata…At first i was like ooooh, hot chip pizza!! but I can understand how the salt would ruin it. Pity they didn't keep the chips unsalted and melt the cheese over the chips :D

  7. The hot chip pizza sounds like a sad gimmick. I would have thought they'd at least to melt some cheese through it.

    The pappardelle on the other hand looks rather nice :)

  8. I was tempted to order the hot chip pizza but didn't. Was afraid it came out the way it was! Not overly impress with the place but must agree it's good value. I did order the dessert pizza with nutella and mascarpone cheese :p

  9. Hi Helen – Yeah melted cheese over the top would've made it so much better!

    Hi Mark – What you should do is get your dining partner to choose the other one so you can have a bit of both :)

    Hi mademoiselle délicieuse – The hot chips pizza did sound good when I read it on the menu! I think it appealed to my inner child =P

    Hi Minh – Yep definitely! Cut the salt and melt heaps of cheese over the chips, you can't go wrong with that!

    Hi Maria – Next time I think I'll order the burrata just for myself :)

    Hi Forager – I know, I would've expected something a little better from a place associated with Giovanni Pilu than just dumping the chips onto the pizza haha

    Hi Stephcookie – I think the hot chip pizza could work, just needs a bit more thought than chucking the chips onto a pre-cooked pizza. Yeah and I agree, no salt and more cheese melted on top!

    Hi Simon – Hehe well if it was a gimmick I definitely fell for it!

    Hi Sara – Yes, everything was awesome except for the pizzas which is a bit sad since it seems to be their 'specialty'

    Hi Ellie – Good thing that you didn't order the hot chip pizza! I didn't get a look at their dessert menu (went to Max Brenner in St Ives instead hehe) but that nutella and marscapone pizza sounds good! Might give that a try next time :)

  10. Ahh, i didn't like Cavallino when i went with family – the service was so SO slow. My family are fairly fast eaters and we were waiting up to 40 minutes between them serving us our antipasto, then clearing, then serving us pizza and i found that the waitstaff were quite rude, too.
    I did quite like the Ghiotta though – i absolutely adore truffles!

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