Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published May 24th 2014
Subtle sexiness, robust flavours and terrific service
Casa Ristorante is bringing trendy back to Sydney's King Street Wharf dining precinct. Once home to the traditional tired red and white tablecloths with food court ambience of Casa di Nico, the Casa venue has been reborn; with spot on modern with slick open kitchens, eye catching sculptures, open air fire pits (the perfect location for a lychee and tabasco cocktail...) and even a semi-private dining space.
The detailing is the strength of the renovation. Fairy lights, produce stands, a glorious wood fire pizza oven and even feature ceilings and floors ensure that the venue is eye-catching and enticing. What's even better is that whilst the décor intrigues and welcomes, the quality of food and service will engage you to linger and not least, return again.
Authentic Italian food is the fare on offer and it does not disappoint. Forget the lacklustre flavours that beckon from Italian across the harbour: pure tourist traps and not much else. This venue is for the locals to enjoy, or a reward for tourists that explore beyond Sydney Aquarium. The focus is on fresh produce and quality pairings. There are very few surprises here, so gastro-explorers may need to look elsewhere. Humble, authentic food made well with just a slight modern and aesthetic twist. The Masterchef hosts would be proud.
At the table of 15 or so guests I had the pleasure of joining; all parties ordered different dishes. This is quite a feat in the dining scene nowadays as generally there are star and thus supporting items with frequent double-ups within a large party. The balanced well-optioned menu ensured there was something for everyone. Woodfire pizzas start from $22.90 and are generous in size feel free to share one between two. Homemade pastas came in around $23.90, and looked delectable; it was all I could do to restrain myself from grabbing a fellow diner's pappardelle al ragu. Ossobucco, pork belly, rib eye and pollo saltimbocca, all the family favourites were there and cooked to perfection as I learned from my fellow diners and indeed my own taste buds. All in all, the mains hover around the $28-$35 mark which is not unreasonable given the location, ambience and quality of the food.
Service was impeccable. One could not fault the lovely English lass whom attended us the evening of our visit. To quote Mary Poppins, she was 'Practically perfect in every way'. Friendly, respectful, knowledgeable and engaging. You could not ask for better service regardless if you were a backpacker or one more accustomed to fine dining. The adaptability of all the staff to engage with different customers is a clear indication of the care management have taken to ensure customer satisfaction.
Perfect for a date, perfect for a quick bite, and even perfect for a corporate function thanks to the fire-pit 'break out areas' and glassed private dining space. This revamped King Street Wharf venue is sure to become a heavy hitter in the inner city dining scene and I can't wait to come back and enjoy their product as they do so.