This is how the Italians do food and you'll find it at Sfizio Cucina e Bar. Since opening at the end of February this year, this café has been continuously busy every night. The constant stream of customers is a testament to how well this place does food.
Taking over from the old Becco, also previously Mamma Carmella on The Parade, Sfizio has been refurbished with a fresh and modern fitting. The metallic copper finish of overhanging lamps resembles the Kartell design, giving it a stylish but simple look. On the other hand, the beautiful feature wall art doubling as a specials blackboard gives warmth to the place.
Sfizio opens 7 days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving portions are always on the generous side, which is fantastic for someone like me who eats a lot. The food comes out pronto and the service is friendly each time so there is no excuse not to try this place!
Lunch and dinner menu offers classic Italian dishes as well as more modern options. Of course they have pizza, pasta and risotto. The pasta used is Barilla and sauces are made traditionally from family recipes. I've had the classic Spaghetti Bolognese, Penne Puttanesca, Spaghetti Marinara and Linguine Zingarella, all of which were well cooked and al dente. Both the Bolognese and Penne were packed full of flavour. The Linguine was a little too sweet but hands down, the Spaghetti Marinara was the best of all and possibly the best I've ever had. The flavour was just faultless and the spaghetti was cooked to perfection.
Penne Puttanesca with Kalamata olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and chilli
The pizza selection is amazingly awesome. Customers, and myself are often confused which to order as they are all good! I've even had a customer, who has travelled to Italy give us feedback that he rates the pizza here as third best in the world. My favourite so far is the Forgetaboutit pizza, with mozzarella, leg ham, Casalinga salami, mushrooms, house-roasted capsicum and olives. It definitely is unforgettable!
Forgetaboutit with mozzarella, ham, Casalinga salami, mushrooms, roasted capsicum & olives
Risotto is made from Carnaroli rice, which is the best to cook risotto with as it absorbs most of the flavour, resulting in a firmer texture than compared to Arborio rice. Carnaroli rice is considered the King of Rice for risotto. I've eaten risotto plenty of times here and it was fantastic every time.
I've also had one of their specials, grilled scotch fillet drizzled in red wine jus with rosemary potatoes and side salad. The fillet was cooked perfectly, just soft and pink on the inside. The potatoes were seasoned well and salad was fresh and tangy.
Scotch fillet drizzled in red wine jus with rosemary potatoes and side salad
The seared barramundi with potatoes and rocket is another dish that I have tried. Again, another great choice. The skin was crispy and the fillet soft and flaky. It was flavoured well with salt so it needed a good squeeze of lemon to balance it out. Overall, a simple dish well done.
To further fix your Italian craving, you can choose to have veal cooked in various ways with mushroom, or spinach and mozzarella or ham and sage. Or, you could choose more modern options such as the burger with a special Sfizio sauce, or salt and pepper calamari, or pollo parmigiana.
In addition to all that scrumptious food, they also have a fantastic selection of fine Italian cakes and desserts, as well as gelati. The coffee they have is second to none with coffee beans ethically sourced from Grinders Coffee from Melbourne. So you're more than welcome to drop by just for coffee and cake – perfect on a lazy Sunday afternoon.