Owned and run by the same Italian family for over 30 years
Zia Pina, located on George St at The Rocks, is a place I have walked past a million times but never entered. Finding ourselves in town with a hungry kid whose "go-to" at a restaurant is pizza, pasta, calamari or gnocchi, we ventured in one day while roaming the area.
There is nothing glam about this place and I feared we had made a mistake as I believe restaurants that rely on passing tourist trade are usually pretty ordinary. Today at least, we were pleasantly surprised. Turns out Zia Pina has been around since 1976 and owned by the same Italian family for over 30 years. With fewer Italian restaurants being actually owned and run by Italians nowadays, I figured at least there would be some authenticity to the food, although we didn't try much on this day.
The decor is worn and a bit beyond what could be described as rustic, the walls adorned with ageing signed photos of celebrities who, once upon a time, dined here. Maybe they still do, who knows. It was a curious little place.
The downstairs dining area. Image : Zia Pina Website
Seated upstairs so my son could have a view of the cruise ship docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (the whole reason we were there to begin with), we were after a quick lunch and simply shared an antipasto platter - (sorry, no photo but presentation and taste was good) - and a pasta, while my son had his favourite gnocchi dish. While we have been disappointed twice by a fancier restaurant across the road, we weren't disappointed here today.
They have a variety of Antipasto platters on the menu from $18 - $28, our Prawn Linguine were really nice at $35 and my son's Gnocchi Gorgonzola was light and fluffy at $25. They are licensed with a mix of Australian and Italian wines and they are open for lunch and dinner 7 days. Set menus are available at $40/pp for groups of 10 and up.
For further information, please visit the website and visit their Instagram for some yummy pics here.