I've been eating a lot of Italian lately because I've just watched the entire five seasons of Kitchen Nightmares. It's weird that I always feel like I don't have enough time to do things, when somehow, I managed to watch all 60 episodes.
Anyway, back to my point - in Kitchen Nightmares, Gordan Ramsay visits more Italian restaurants than any other cuisines... He really got me craving Italian!
We're pretty spoilt for choice in Sydney but on this particular night, we decided to revisit Pizza e Birra, which is just a short stroll from home.
Working so close to home, and living so close to restaurants means we're often eating dinner while the masses are still travelling home from work. Sometimes, by 7pm, we would have already finished a three course dinner! I guess that could be how I've been creating all this spare time...
I've been back to Pizza e Birra several times since my first visit (6 years ago!); it's a place which never disappoints.
This was just an ordinary weeknight dinner so we're here for a no-fuss meal that'll satisfy the cravings in which Kitchen Nightmares has induced.
The pizzas here are obviously what has put this restaurant on the map. Simple toppings with a really beautiful crust and base. We share the salsiccia e porcini ($22) which consists of pork sausage with mushrooms, mozzarella, porcini, parmesan and basil on tomato sauce. I love the rich and earthy flavour of the porcini mushrooms, and how it complements the savoury complexity of the pork sausage. The crust is slightly crisp and has an overall delightful lightness to it.
The fresh tagliatelle with duck ragu ($24) has a wonderful rustic appeal. The duck ragu tastes more summery than Il Baretto's version. It is brighter and sweeter. The al denta pasta holds the tomato sauce and lush pieces of duck very well and the serving size is quite spot on.
We were going to leave it at that, but we figured we really deserved a treat. The pannacotta ($12) is just irresistible. With every mouthful speckled with honey and vanilla bean and just a small dab of the coffee caramel sauce, we're quick to polish off dessert.
How pretty are the flowers by the window?
There were only a few tables taken when we had walked in, but by the time we're sipping our coffees, we find that several tables had already been turned over, and the dining room was filling up. The serenity of yet another early dinner is over, just in time to watch Crown Street turn into its bustling self once again.
P.S. Beware of queues if you intend on dining here on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night!
Pizza e Birra
1/500 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: (02) 9332 2510