Pyrmont is Sydney's most densely populated suburb. Probably because it's only about one square kilometre in area. It's dominated by The Star Casino and Lyric Theatre which is why it makes sense to have big, friendly - and fast - restaurants nearby.
Made In Italy is exactly that. Waiting to be seated, the hosts greeted half the customers like old friends, calling them by name and warmly embracing them. Other customers, ourselves included, were politely welcomed - but then politely ignored.
We knew we were on a restricted time frame due to our show at the Lyric beginning in two hours, but even we were not prepared for how quickly our food arrived. Our entree was on the table within about five minutes of ordering. Not normally one to complain about getting food promptly, but I actually felt a bit rushed.
The extensive menu - all Italian of course - is full of all your expected favourites including antipasti to share, pastas and 15 types of pizzas. There are ten pasta sauces available, ranging between the $16 Arrabbiata to the $24 Gorgonzola. To these, you have the choice of three pastas (spaghetti, penne or fettucine), or for an extra $3, ravioli or gnocchi.
We agreed that garlic bread might make us unloveable bedfellows, so we chose the stuffed zucchini flowers from the specials board instead. Filled with ricotta and sardines, the flowers ($5 each) were battered and deep fried. Unfortunately, the haste to bring them out meant that the batter was still doughy and raw in places, although the flower itself was crisp and tasty. It wasn't great.
I selected the pumpkin gnocchi with butter and sage sauce ($24) also from the specials menu. It was fine, nothing spectacular; it could have benefitted from a tad more seasoning and sharp parmesan, although the sage and butter sauce was sinfully good. It might be better as an entree rather than a huge main.
My friend had the spaghetti polpette (meatballs) for $24, and while the pasta itself was perfectly cooked, and the tomato sugo light and fresh, the meatballs were quite small, hard and dense, and not big, moist and collapsible as you would imagine. Again, the dish was okay, but not great.
That being said, the restaurant was almost full on the Saturday night we visited. It is popular and I do understand why. There were plenty of happy families and couples, all having a happy, loud time. Children seem to be particularly well treated, with the kids at nearby tables all given pizza dough to practice with (or play with, depending on your perspective).
If it's your birthday, you get to ring a loud bell. Noise is fun when you're a kid.
Made In Italy is a local restaurant. It is fun and fast and the food is fine. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to eat there, but it is convenient and friendly, and the pizzas looked like they would definitely be worth a try.
There are Made in Italy restaurants across Sydney, including Rose Bay, the CBD, Castle Hill and Annandale.