Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Made in Italy - Trattoria @ Pyrmont

The essence of Italian cooking is simplicity. Most Italian dishes are only made from very few ingredients with the focus being placed on the quality of the ingredients used (did I mention that cheese, wine and herbs being most common of the ingredients? My taste buds tango at that thought!). Because of the simplicity of the dishes, Italian is one of my most common DIY meals for the time-starved at home.

On a lazy Sunday night after spending the afternoon savouring Messina gelato at The Star and sipping on Hendricks & Cucumber at a Pyrmont bar, me and good friend decided to fill up on a bit of carbs (...and to continue the festive splurge on food and wine!).

Our restaurant pick was the closely located Made in Italy - established in 2001 and quickly known for their great tasting pizza, pastas and salads. The first thing you notice walking in is the old-school scooter and the bright red Fiat near the entrance - it sure sets a scene but expectations of the food quality went on a steep decline (I got the feel of a themed and commercialised restaurant and those places don't usually do too well in the food department - but then I may have thought differently if they displayed a mini cooper?).

First we ordered the Stuffed Zucchini Flowers - yes the flower which grows from the stem of the zucchini fruit is edible, and when stuffed, battered and deep fried, makes a pretty scrumptious starter to a fine meal. Yes, fruit! Interestingly the zucchini is by botanical definition a fruit and not the vegetable it is commonly known as in the culinary world. Even more interestingly, zucchinis are actually the swollen ovaries of the female zucchini flower!

The zucchini flower was served on a bed of rocket leaves casually dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, lightly battered and fried until golden. The stuffing of ricotta cheese and anchovies was very tasty but did overpower the dish - Delicious!

Our next dish was the Caprese Salad with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and tomatoes, pitted olives and basil. The salad was tossed in a well balanced olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. The buffalo mozzarella were large pieces, very soft, stringy and porcelain white in colour. The prosciutto were tender, large thinly sliced pieces that were not too salty or dry - all characteristics of quality Italian prosciutto. The flavours worked so well together I could not get enough of this amazing salad and my taste buds are waltzing!

I love a good carpaccio so I would usually jump at every opportunity to order carpaccio if it is offered on the menu. There were two carpaccio options on the menu, fresh salmon or beef - we opted for Carpaccio di Carne. The beef was very thinly sliced, served with a good amount of olive oil, a wedge of lemon and topped with rocket leaves and shaved reggiano parmasan. I found this dish a little bland at first, and the rocket and parmesan overthrew the taste of the too-thinly sliced meat. However a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a bit of cracked pepper fixed up half my concerns.

Our final dish was the Fettuccine Boscaiola. The fettuccine was cooked al dente, and coated in a creamy (but not too heavy) boscaiola sauce with chunky pieces of mushrooms and ham, and topped with parmasan.

Overall, a great experience. The staff is attentive and polite, the ambience is friendly and warm. A great place to come with the family, big and small. Carb-coma time!


Oh! The pizza. Our little tummies could not fit another pizza after our already very fulfilling meal. However I did take an opportunity to arrange pizza delivery in the office for lunch. Ordering was a good old-fashioned call to their landline - quick and simple (no queuing and listening to ads on the phone, no overburdening of questions like the ones some pizza chains put us through, no complicated online forms, no fuss).

We ordered the Margherita, the Capricciosa, the Tropicale, the Made In Italy and the Suprema. The verdict - the best delivered pizza in Sydney! The crust is thin and crispy, the toppings generous and very fresh, and the delivery on time. It was so popular with the team that there was some talk about replacing birthday cakes with birthday pizzas! Nom nom nom!

(Note: If you don't fancy delivery, you could pop down to their little shop tucked away in York Lane for your pizza fix. Grab a few mates, a pizza or two and take a seat on their classy blue milk crates before Friday night drinks!)

G01/55 Miller Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
(02) 9518 7555

Made in Italy Trattori on Urbanspoon

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