Where: 628 Crown Street, Surry Hills 2010
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 7am - 12am, Sun 7am - 10pm
Phone: 02 9699 8787
While Crown Street certainly has its attractions, it's a pleasure to duck into this slice of 1940s Sicily, take a deep breath and sip a coffee as you watch the crowds pass you by. The theme is clearly stated in the marble, tiles, polished wood and mirrors of the interior, as well as in the numerous references to Italian film icons. Relaxed Italian glamour is the order of the day.
The menus are expansive, with breakfast, lunch and dinner - as well as drinks, desserts and takeaway - on offer. Opening hours are surprisingly long, stretching from 7 in the morning until midnight most days. We popped in for a lazy Sunday lunch, which is a great time to make the most of the outdoors seating.
To start, the Caprese Di Bufala ($17) was impressive, a well-executed blend of gentle bufala mozzarella, ripe oxheart tomatoes and fresh basil. A fresh orange juice ($5) was a good match. While we skipped the Arancini ($6), I'd imagine they'd be worth a second visit.
Mains were a little more complex. While the Seppia In Umido ($22), cuttlefish cooked with cherry tomato and white wine, was a winning choice, the Home Made Gnocchi Al Funghi ($18) had excellent texture but lacked a little in flavour. This hit and miss doesn't seem surprising in such an involved menu, and I'd suggest speaking to your waiter for recommendations. We took a tip on an affordable glass of red, Cantele's Telero Negroamaro 2009, which turned out to be a good one.
While it might be a challenge to take on dessert after a hearty Italian meal, this part is unmissable. Pick either a slice of the Cassata Siciliana ($8) or a Cannoli Di Ricotta ($8), or do as we did and tuck into both. Best enjoyed with a glass of Moscato Passito Di Pantelleria, one of Italy's finest.
Caprese Di Bufala, Seppia In Umido and Cannoli Di Ricotta
Good For Groups: