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 July 13th 2014
Indulge and enjoy - and wear an elasticated waist band
With cold winter weather settling in on the harbour city, one can be forgiven from deviating from the juice and salad diets to evenings of hearty carbohydrates complete with entrée and desert. If you're in the East, Parma in Surry Hills is your one-stop-shop for belly-bursting flavours at reasonable prices.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street on the slightly quieter corner of Campbell and Crown Streets sits this Italian gem. Whilst modern with a slight trend to it (think pizza boards artfully displayed on a wall and a plethora of cushions along the window seats), the venue retains a charm and unassuming air. You don't need to be wearing clothes with at least two 00's in the price-tag to fit in here.
Having visited the establishment twice I can safely say that the staff are either authentically Italian or have mastered the accents beyond perfection and are a pleasure to be around. Guests are encouraged to relax and indulge. A generous wine, beer, aperitif and cocktail list will enhance your evening not least due to the nightly cocktail specials between 4.30 and 6.30pm. With at least 7 'on-special' cocktails to choose from at only $10 why not arrive early as we did and wile away they wintry hours. The house antipasto platter ($26) is a great accompaniment to cocktail hour with delicate cured meats, vegetables and fresh baked breads.
The Saccottino pizza - smoked ham, brie, rocket, fresh tomato and balsamic vinaigrette glaze
Now I hope you love good food and lots of it, as portions are hearty and will leave you bursting at the seams. Flavours offer a mixture of traditional and unique combinations at extremely reasonable prices. Pizzas and pastas clock in between $22 (margherita) and the $29 mark (marinara). Gluten free bases are also offered along with carbohydrate free main option such as steak, spatchcock and dory fillet. Click here for the full menu. Parma is not afraid of putting specials on the Dimmi and Groupon sites so you may score an even cheaper night out by keeping an eye on these sites.
The Tre Salumi pizza - chorizo, Italian pork and fennel sausage topped with fresh basil
Anyone keen to learn more about the art of Italian cooking can book in for a Parma cooking class. At only $80 per person it is a lot cheaper than many of the other classes around. Why not learn how to cook at home the food that tastes so delicious dining out?
If you are looking for unpretentious dining in the East with good value for money then Parma should make your short list for an evening out. Just make sure your waist is elasticated so you don't have to stop before you reach dessert!