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Published April 20th 2016
Casual Italian Dinner by Stunning Balmoral Beach
Tucked away at the end of the Balmoral Beach's esplanade is a lovely beach-side Italian restaurant, La Repubblica.
Uno non può pensare bene, amare bene, dormire bene, se non ha mangiato bene. ~Virginia Wolf (One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one hasn't eaten well.)
This place is always packed during the day mainly because it is perfectly located across from Balmoral Beach. Even though there is seating outside going around the corner, the queue for coffee never seems to diminish, so I have never been to La Repubblica.
A beautiful old building with real charm and character
When my friend recently discovered that La Repubblica is open for dinner, I thought it's time to give it a try.
A stroll on the Balmoral Beach before dinner. What an idyllic location!
The restaurant interior is decorated with dark timber and shimmering chandeliers and it feels spacious airy comfortable.
Sophisticated dinner menu
Cheap pizza and fast commercial pasta dishes are no where to be seen at this modern Italian eatery, instead the menu consists of pretty refined Mediterranean dishes with bright, zingy flavours.
It is a rather sophisticated restaurant by the beach.
Tempura Zucchini Flower $17.00 (Filled with ricotta & goat cheese, Apple pear salsa)
We started with the tempura zucchini flowers with a perfect light crisp on the outside. They were filled with savory soft cheese of ricotta and goat cheese. It was a great blend of textures. The sweetness of the apple pear salsa salad worked very well together making this an easy dish to eat.
These stuffed zucchini flowers were absolutely delicious.
My friend raved about the calamari entree and it was worthy of the compliment. It has this slight grilled or charred taste, but not too overpowering. The calamari was marinated with fresh lime and chili. Upon first bite, I found the calamari to be quite refreshing, tender and juicy!
The Tapas Sharing Board was served on an enormous wooden slab, and it was a feast for the senses. The Sharing Board included 6 Mediterranean delicacies - from salt and pepper squid and Moroccan octopus tapas, hommus and beetroot dips, as well as marinated olives and pickled vegetables, served with pita bread.
This was a dish to be enjoyed as a leisurely meal of many colours, tastes and flavours. We enjoyed it with many good conversations. If the pita bread was warm and toasted, it would be a perfect dish.
We also ordered a Duck Peat Panzotti and it was a lovely refreshing main dish on a warm Autumn night. The pasta was decent but it was the marinated eggplant, artichoke and olives that took my fancy. They were a fantastic combination with a distinctive Mediterranean tanginess and the sweet balsamic reduction was quite addictive.
My friend couldn't resist the dessert cabinet and tonight she picked the caramel chocolate cake.
Caramel chocolate cake $6.00
This was a rich dense chocolate cake topped with a smooth caramel frosting. Needless to say it was a decadent after-meal sweetener.
Conclusion: The dining atmosphere at La Repubblica was nice and cosy at night time without the frantic business during the day time. The service was minimal, but the staff were relaxed, polite and efficient. The food is a bit pricey here, but it's what you expect when dining in a prime beach location, like Mosman.
A lovely casual meal by the beach
Overall, I think La Repubblica is a charming restaurant in a beautiful location. The food is delicious with great flavours and generous servings. It's a place well worth visiting.