Italian food is like that person you know who somehow manages to be friends with everyone. It’s simple, crowd-pleasing and reliably delicious – I mean, have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like pizza or pasta?
So when it comes to choosing restaurants, one of my fallback plans is always Cafe Sopra. The food is consistently tasty and reasonably priced, and there are multiple locations around Sydney including the CBD and Potts Point which makes it super convenient.
Today we pay a visit to Cafe Sopra in Alexandria, which has both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a beautiful warm day, and the windows are opened to let in fresh air and sunlight on the otherwise dark interior.
There’s a selection starters, pizzas, pastas and heavier meat-based dishes on the menu, which I think are best shared so you get to try a bit of everything. Arancini are always a crowd favourite so we start with those – crispy fried balls of risotto with mixed herbs, fluffy shavings of taleggio cheese and a creamy dipping sauce.
It’s a hot day so we opt for some cold items as well, like this huge slab of chicken liver pate. It’s served with crusty bread that’s been toasted until crispy, and a slide of green bean and cucumber salad. There’s so much pate that you can generously slather on as much as you like on the toast and there will still be plenty left for everyone. The flavour of the pate is also on point – not too strong on the liver taste and also nice and smooth.
You can’t go to Cafe Sopra without ordering some pizza or pasta. We get one of each, starting with a pizza bianca. This is a ‘white’ pizza with no tomato base, topped with mozzarella, artichoke, leek, prosciutto di Parma and stracchino cheese. It’s deliciously cheese and I don’t miss the tomato at all, because there’s plenty of flavour from the salty prosciutto and the sweet-tasting leek, with some textural contrast from the artichoke hearts.
Our pasta dish is a tagliatelle with a pea and mascarpone sauce. There’s some Italian sausage, crushed peas, sharp pecorino and creamy mascarpone stirred through to bring it all together. The tagliatelle is cooked to al dente, and even though there’s a creamy component to the sauce, I’m surprised by how light the pasta is – perfect for summer!
We ordered a salad to go with the carby action that had torn burrata, sweet roasted pumpkin, baby spinach and pistachios, dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
If you love the food, you can also purchase items from the Fratelli Fresh retail which is located inside the restaurant. There’s lots of Italian goodies available to buy, including dried pastas, sauces and oils and vinegars so you can recreate a delicious Italian meal at home. Although if you’re lazy like me, perhaps it’s just easier to pay another visit to Cafe Sopra with friends and let the experts do the cooking for you!
52 Mitchell Rd
Alexandria NSW 2015
Ph: +61 2 9699 3174
Open 7 days, 12pm to 10pm
Other locations in Sydney CBD, Potts Point, Walsh Bay