Pasticceria Papa, best known for its Italian pastries and cakes, is right in the middle of the famous Bondi Beach road, Hall Street. If you can steer your eyes away from the desserts, right around the corner, awaits a meal made straight out of Italy.
Cooking for us, was chef Luigi, a man full of pride and love for what he does and what he serves on a plate shows this.
To start our lunch off, we began with the starters. First, the house cured Ocean Trout on a bed of grilled brioche, served with home-made passionfruit mayonnaise and salmon roe. Each part of the dish, individually, was mouth watering and full of flavour, and when mixed together in the palette, a soothing and delicate balance of flavour and textures.
Alongside this, Salted Prawn with artichoke “alla Romana” and dried ricotta. The prawn was cooked perfectly and tasted even better with what I believed was the perfect artichoke.
For some more Italy, we were served Fregola, a type of pasta from Sardinia (similar to couscous) along with clams. It was definitely a hearty dish and a winter warmer for those in need of it.
Paired with these dishes was the Milazzo Prosecco . A sparkling white wine imported directly from Italy. It was a perfect combination of floral and grassy flavours with hints of citrus. The fragrance and acidity balanced fish dishes excellently.
Right when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Luigi brought out one of the top tasting potato gnocchi I have had the pleasure of eating. It was a melt-in-the mouth, exploding with flavours dish that I did not want to share. Made with gorgonzola cream, truffle sauce (and generous slices of black truffle), with a sprinkle of almond flakes, each bite was better than the last.
Paired with this dish, was the 2010 Milazzo Terre della Baronia. Touching the pallet, was a mixture of red fruits, liquorice, tobacco, coffee and vanilla; giving a soft and round consistency whilst full of body and warm sensations. A match for dishes with a slight bitter touch.
On to the mains, we were served what looked like the leaning tower of Pisa. Placed on top of mushroom polenta, was a Beef Eye Fillet with sautéed baby spinach and green peppercorn sauce. When it came to cutting the steak, it juiced out flavour, dripping over the polenta, infusing it with all the goodness of the steak and as expected, it was beautifully cooked.
Paired perfectly with the 2010 Milazzo Terre della Baronia. A glass straight out of Sicily.
And for a less meaty main, and a slight Australian touch, the grilled barramundi. With its buttery and flakey texture, along with the crispy skin, it was light and refreshing. Served with cream of asparagus and baby carrots.
The 2013 Chardonnay Jones Road is an Australian wine, full body, round and soft. With fruit such as peach and mango and hints of honey and camomile flowers it was a well matched drink. Perfect with fish, reducing and softening any bitter tone of grilled meats and fish.
With sides being just as impressive, but more subtle in flavour, we ordered the baby broccolini, sprinkled with almonds for extra bite.
For dessert, expect everything and more. What’s a trip to Papa’s without trying their infamous cheesecake and other sweet treats? A plate filled with creamy, nutty and fruity options finished a perfect lunch in style!
For a real Italian experience, Papa’s stays true to its routes in the heart of Bondi.
75 Hall Street,
Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW
Contributed by Nicole who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys