I don't know if it's my love for the fresh buffalo mozzarella imported from Campania each week, the outstanding wine or the cosy hideout that Buffalo Dining Club is, which draws me back to this place each time and leaves me with my fondest cheese dreams.
Buffalo Dining Club at Darlinghurst, a short walk away from King's Cross station, is Sydney's Mozzarella bar of a very high quality. They have kept it simple and classic. On being seated, you will notice the wall with the blackboard and the menu written across it. Another smaller blackboard hosts the specials and the wine is strategically placed on the wall beside it.
The aim, I believe, is to make the choice very easy for the customers. And if you are still undecided the friendly staff will give you a hand.
If you have never been to a Mozzarella bar before, remember it is all about the cheese. The cheese is known to be fresh and tasty and generally unlike anything you have had before. The way it works is simple, order your cheese and it comes with 2 sides. A good range of vegetarian and meat options are available as sides. I love the soft and silky buffalo mozzarella. It is imported 3 times a week from Campania in Naples, Italy and is a soft round blob of cheese that goes great with most sides. The burrata is also a great choice if you'd like to stick to the same soft and silky texture however this one is filled with cream. A thick slice of goat's cheese on the table beside our's seemed enviable too. Some of the other cheese options include the caprino and gorgonzola.
The choices for mains are even simpler than the cheeses. The famous Cacio e pepe or more humbly the cheese wheel is a spaghetti tossed in a pecorino cheese wheel with cracked pepper. The tossing of the spaghetti at the table prior to serving creates a theatre-like atmosphere and in most cases you would have your phone out clicking pictures and shooting videos before the pasta can be served. The wheel is a good 3 or 3.5 kilos in weight and looks like something out of a movie.
If you can look past the cheese wheel, try the gnocchi with buffalo milk ricotta. Another cracker of a dish was the current special the strozzapreti pasta with spinach, chilli and lime. It was perhaps one of the best pasta dishes I have had in a long time. The freshness of the pasta, the perfect proportion of lime and the fresh and light pecorino on it lift the dish to an unprecedented level. They also serve a house-made chilli and garlic relish on the side which is outstanding. Falling too much in love with it, will end up in you buying that relish for $9 a bottle.
All this paired with a Spanish Tempranillo, an Italian de abruzzo or a Chianti from Tuscany will lift the whole experience one notch.
They do make a lovely tiramisu but I was far too satisfied to be able to make room for any. Next time perhaps.
Dining at Buffalo Dining Club is a unique experience not to be missed. I suspect you will fall in love with the little place so much that you won't mind that long waits (even an hour or 90 minutes for dinner) or the fact that the tables are placed quite close to each other making it slightly inconvenient to get through the restaurant. Lunch is generally a quieter time to go.