Via Napoli is a cult favourite restaurant, and one of my personal favourites as well! Set along Longueville rd in Lane Cove, its location is unassuming, but the quality of the food here is outstanding! Friarielli from the foot hills of Mt Vesuvius and buffalo mozarella flown in fresh from Naples – it is definitely no comparison to the local pizza shop!
On Monday the 23rd June it was my 20th birthday! I was so excited to finally end my teenage years and begin the rest of my life. Sadly, my one uni exam for the semester fell on this day, right smack bang in the middle of MY day! It was the last thing I wanted to do on my birthday, however, I made a plan to have as much fun as possible before and after the dreaded exam.
I began my day with a trip to The Grounds of Alexandria with my Mum. I had always wanted to visit the grounds, so many of my friends had been there, and the pictures they had uploaded of the food looked incredible! So off we went, in an attempt to cross one restaurant off my long list of restaurants i’m dying to visit!
It was in a really strange location! I had never really explored Alexandria before, so driving through what seemed like an industrial area wasn’t exactly where I would expect to find a happening breakfast spot, and foodie destination! However, in amongst the factories we found a gem! We walked in to what looked like a country village, filled with a flower shop, gourmet grocery store, a bar and of course the cafe! It was such a cool little country escape in amongst industry and the city! There was a bit of a queue for a table, but we didn’t mind seeing as it gave us time to explore. As the waiter lead us too our seats, the vibrant atmosphere got me so excited! There were loads of people enjoying their meals, stands packed with freshly baked bread from their bakery onsite, bread and jam tasting, a dessert stand, there was just so much going on that I didn’t know where to look. There was such a fabulous vibe. I ordered the Brioche Brekky Burger with Polenta Chips and Mum ordered the Brekky Board. I also had their freshly squeezed watermelon and pineapple fruit juice. We were seated right near the kitchen, and I watched all the food being prepared and assembled. Everything looked incredible and made to so keen to come back and try the rest of the breakfast dishes!
The Brekky burger was so delicious! The Brioche was so soft, and surprisingly, the burger was quite light on my stomach.
Later on in the day we went to a place called A Tavola for dinner. I had read reviews for this restaurant and decided to tick yet another restaurant off my long list of places to visit. I had heard about their freshly made pasta that they hang around the restaurant to dry before service, and as we walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pasta drying on the racks. We were greeted with some freshly baked focaccia and chilli olive oil, which immediately excited me as it reminded me of a traditional european restaurant (not the stingy Australian versions where you pay extra for the bread). Dad also ordered an Italian red wine (not sure what it was called as Italian wines come in so many unfamiliar varieties) which was spectacular. I ordered the Pappardelle with Wagyu Ragu and so did my mum and dad. My sister ordered the Mushroom Ravioli with Truffle Sauce. Both dishes were incredible, the pasta cooked al dente which is always promising, and we were given such a generous serving of the hearty Ragu.
For dessert, just for the sake of jamming one more foodie destination into one day, we went to Riva Reno on Crown st for Gelato. Riva Reno is an Italian gelato chain that has many stores in Italy, but a few in Australia as well. It is by far my favourite gelato in Australia, and is possibly better than the gelato I had in Italy. It has such a thick creamy texture, that it reminds me on eating Nutella. The gelato is kept in metal cylinders to keep it from being exposed to bacteria etc. but also because natural, authentic gelato doesn’t have any preservatives or nitrogen, and so cannot be piled up high on display as we find it here in Australia. To me it makes more sense to store the gelato this way! I would absolutely recommend visiting this place!
I had a fabulous birthday, even though I had an exam (notice I didn’t mention the exam in my recount of the day? It doesnt deserve a mention!)
The Grounds of Alexandria: http://groundsroasters.com/
A Tavola, Bondi: http://www.atavola.com.au/bondi/
Riva Reno: http://www.rivareno.com/ita/