I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published February 15th 2015
Makaroni Bar with stunning view of Piazza
One of the reasons I write for WeekendNotes is to give other consumers ideas for locations to visit, as much as I like to read reviews of places from other people. My friend and I read mixed reviews about Makaroni Pizza Pasta Bar, mainly about the pizzas but as we were to visit the Leichhardt area and didn't want to go to a super-expensive restaurant or cafe, we decided to give Makaroni a chance.
Parking is difficult at the best of times around Leichhardt but we found a carpark where the first two hours are free. It was a short walk along the street then through a corridor of shops and cafes. When I exited the passageway and stood at the top of the stairs, I was astounded to take in the spectacle of this large open space that resembles an Italian Square with a fountain and cafes that skirt the piazza.
The Makaroni Bar was near the stairway. It had a stunning view of the piazza, as did all the establishments in this area. We arrived half an hour later than our appointed time of 6:00 pm but it was still surprisingly quiet in this Italian cultural estate.
For the mains, customers can choose their pasta, then choose the sauce to go with the pasta which is a great idea as customers can pick and choose their dish without being required to order exactly what is on a menu.
Another reason I was interested in visiting Makaroni is that they advertise fresh pasta made daily. When I visited Italy a few years ago, I tried beautiful silky fresh pasta and have never forgotten the velvety taste experience. I have been on the look out at cafes and restaurants for freshly made pasta ever since. When we ordered our dishes, my friend and I asked about the fresh pasta. We were told it is not made on their premises but is brought in each day by a van where it is freshly made at their other premises at Miranda.
My companion ordered the Rigatoni with Pollo. It was a combination of napolitana and cream sauce with chicken and sun-dried tomato. He commented it was a surprisingly yellow colour but the taste was beautiful.
I ordered a Caserecce pasta with Ragu. I had never heard of caserecce. The waiter explained that it is pasta with a slit down each strand. My meal was the outstanding dish. The beef and vegetable ragu was beautifully soaked in tomato and herbs and it was simply delicious.
Though we enjoyed our meals, neither of us thought the pasta tasted freshly made. I wondered if I had ordered fettucine or another fine pasta, perhaps I may have tasted the silkiness that I dream about in my ideal fresh pasta. Nonetheless, the main dishes were enjoyable and appetising. Towards the end of our meal, we were treated to the wonderful music of a jazz duo. Makaroni has jazz on Friday and Saturday nights.
My friend had one scoop of hazelnut and one scoop of rum and raisin gelato which he enjoyed immensely. I had one scoop each of the blood orange and strawberry gelato. These were lusciously tangy. A fitting end to a lovely evening. And we made it back to the car five minutes before the free two hours ended.
I would return to Makaroni and try their long flat pasta such as fettucine or linguini to compare it to my dreamy Italian days of pasta. But maybe dreams exceed reality – sometimes it's best not to go there, for fear that one may be disappointed. I'd be interested to hear from other readers if you can recommend cafes or restaurants where fresh pasta is made and served on the premises.