Tag Archives: Italian

Buffalo Dining Club, Darlinghurst

For a long time, the only cheese I knew about was the plasticky slices of Kraft Singles. I remember trying to make grilled cheese as a kid and wondering why my cheese didn’t ooze and melt under the grill quite like the ones I saw on TV.

It wasn’t until later on in life that I realised that there was a whole world of cheeses beyond Kraft Singles, all with different flavours and textures. I soon discovered that soft, creamy cheeses like brie and camembert, and stretchy, mild flavoured cheeses like mozzarella were amongst some of my favourites, and sought them out like they were going out of fashion.

Buffalo Dining Club menu

It wasn’t long before I found out about burrata, a stretchy pouch of milky mozzarella that holds a surprise flowing river of rich thickened cream inside. When I saw it on the menu at Buffalo Dining Club, I knew I had to have it. The other cheeses would have to wait because the burrata was calling my name!

Burrata with choice of two sides – $20

All the cheeses at Buffalo Dining Club are $20 each and come with a choice of two sides. We decided to get the potato croquettes and honey baby carrots to go with our cheese. The plate also comes with some bread and nduja, a spicy sausage that you can spread onto the bread.

Burrata

The cows’ milk burrata is buttery and smooth just like you’d expect, though a bit softer and less stretchy than others I’ve had in the past. I was expecting a river of cream to flow out of the burrata once we broke open the pouch but there wasn’t as much as I had hoped. Not to worry though, because the cheese was still creamy and silky in texture, and we didn’t leave any of it on the plate.

Honey baby carrots and potato croquettes

The potato croquettes were more like pommes noisette, or round potato gems. They were perfectly spherical potato balls with a crispy outside – kind of like a round version of fries! These were addictively good. The carrots were sweet and tender and yep that was pretty much my vegetable intake for the meal…

San Daniele prosciutto – $10 for 60g

Apart from the cheese, the charcuterie is also worth checking out. There’s a selection of prosciutto, jamon, bresaola and other cured meats and we end up with a healthy 60g of San Daniele prosciutto. The prosciutto is served on a piece of wax paper and it’s sliced super thinly. After one slice, we are immediately regretting not going for the 90g option because it’s deliciously fatty and simply melts in the mouth.

Gnocchi – $20

Our last dish is a plate of buffalo ricotta gnocchi in a napolitana sauce. The ricotta gnocchi are so light and airy – it’s like eating pillows of clouds! This was a great way to have a pasta dish that wasn’t too rich or stodgy after the cheese and prosciutto, and even though I had a serious case of food envy watching the spaghetti being served in the pecorino cheese wheel, I was glad we stuck with our choice of gnocchi.

So cheese, prosciutto and pasta is pretty much all that’s on offer at the Buffalo Dining Club, but it’s what they do best. This is a fantastic place to take any cheese lover, and as a self-professed cheese lover who has graduated from Kraft Singles, I’m already planning a return visit.

Buffalo Dining Club
116 Surrey Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Ph: +61 2 9332 4052
Open Wednesday to Saturday, midday to 11pm

Buffalo Dining Club on Urbanspoon

Pizza Autentico, Surry Hills

I used to love buffets. The thought of being able to eat as much as you want was like heaven for me and invariably, it would result in us paying loads of money, stuffing our faces to ensure we get value for money (don’t even think about wasting stomach space on bread!), and then feeling ill for the rest of the night.

Now, I’m much more inclined to spend my money on smaller portions of better quality food, at a place that focuses on one type of food and does it well, rather than going somewhere where I can eat huge quantities but not so great food. Well, it turns out these don’t have to be mutually exclusive. At Pizza Autentico, a mere $20 gets you all you can eat, high-quality pizza and pasta made fresh by Italian chefs for 90 minutes straight.

Menu

The unlimited pizza and pasta menu has over 10 pizzas and 5 pastas to choose from, which waiters bring out straight from the kitchen. The pizzas and pastas are served to each diner so you get the opportunity to taste a little bit of everything.

Marinated olives, olive tapenade, house made bread

Before we get started on the pizzas and pastas though, a small board of olives, olive tapenade, olive oil and house made bread is brought out to whet the appetite. All the fresh ingredients used at Pizza Autentico are sourced from Salt Meats Cheese in Alexandria, so you know it’s going to be good!

N’duja pizza

It doesn’t take long for the pizzas to start flowing. Each pizza is brought around and you’re asked if you want a slice. Um… yes please! The first one we try is the n’duja pizza, a napoli sauce base with spicy Italian pork sausage and mozzarella.

Clockwise from top left: Vatellinese, Siciliana, Capricciosa and Margherita pizzas
Continue reading Pizza Autentico, Surry Hills

Pasta Emilia, Surry Hills

I’m always drawn to places that do one thing, and do it very well. To me, it means that all focus and dedication is placed onto one type of food and mastering it, making it the best it possibly can.

There’s no prizes for guessing what Pasta Emilia’s main strength is. The pasta here is made onsite and with organic ingredients, using recipes from the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy which is famous for its pasta. Pasta Emilia makes several types, including fettuccine, strozzapreti and filled pastas like ravioli and tortelli. While these are all available for purchase in convenient take home packs and sauces, we decided to eat in at the rustic, cottage-like cafe in Surry Hills for dinner one night.

Strozzapreti al ragu di carne and parmagiano – $18

We’re here for the pasta so we skip the entrees and dive straight in. The house made strozzapreti is a short pasta that kind of reminds me of DNA strands with its rolled and twisted structure. Strozzapreti literally means “priest stranglers” and legend has it that the name comes from the fact that priests enjoyed the pasta so much, they ate it too quickly and choked themselves! Whether that’s true or not, make sure you savour every mouthful of this strozzapreti that’s mixed with a rich beef ragu topped with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Crab and prawn tortelli with salsa verde and chopped rucola – $32
Continue reading Pasta Emilia, Surry Hills

Puntino Trattoria, Woolloomooloo

If you’re a cheese lover and you haven’t tried burrata yet, you are seriously missing out. Inside this plump, knotted ball of cheese is cream and soft mozzarella that oozes out once it is cut into. It is rich, creamy and oh so delicious! The promise of burrata and wood-fired oven pizza is what drew us to Puntino Trattoria, which is hidden away on the Woolloomooloo side of Crown Street.

Cacio di cavallo – $16.90

We’re being treated tonight with a multitude of cheeses and treats from the wood-fired oven, starting with the smoked provolone that is baked in the wood-fired oven with shaved black truffle. The truffle aroma hits as soon as it lands on the table, and we use the tongs to take a piece of the melty, stretchy cheese and eat it with the accompanying bread.

Calzone ai formaggi – $10 (left) and calamari in padella – $16 (right)

Other entrees that we sample also include the calzone ai formaggi – a wood-fired pizza folded over with mozzarella, parmesan and garlic – and a simple but delicious flash friend calamari with lemon and garlic. The calamari pieces are especially good as they are slightly tangy from the lemon and very tender.

Mozzarella degustazione platter – $15.50pp (min 2 ppl)
Continue reading Puntino Trattoria, Woolloomooloo

Pendolino, Sydney

Hidden away in a corner of the top level of the Strand Arcade is Pendolino. Its dark, moody and relaxed atmosphere is a far cry from the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the city, and is the perfect place to hide out and feast on some delicious Italian food.

Burrata pugliese con pomodori di vareita primaria - $26

When I spot burrata on the menu I’m sold. It’s a pretty dish, with the Puglian Burrata as the centre of attention, surrounded by an heirloom tomato salad with basil, red onion and parsley. The tomatoes help to cut through the rich and creamy burrata and the addition of breadcrumbs also adds a crunchy texture to the dish.

Spaghetti chitarra con pesce d'acquadolce - $26/$39
Continue reading Pendolino, Sydney