Posts tagged Italian

Spigolo, Darlinghurst

For days on end, Sean tells me of this place that he passes everyday on his way to work. Mouthwatering aromas float gently out of every crevice – as if the place was oozing with the promise of good food, its sirens’ song beckoning…beckoning. (Yes that was a Sweeney Todd reference, for those who know.)

So after some persuasion, Sean agreed to bring me there.

First, the food.

As a starter, we ordered the Carpaccio De Carne ($16.90). Fresh, translucent, tender slivers of pure beefy goodness were lovingly coated in a tart dressing. I especially loved the salty hit of parmesean with the tongue-tingling dressing following it. It was quite unassumingly addictive, and Sean – who isn’t a raw meat type of person – absolutely enjoyed every mouthful.

As a main, I had the Gorgonzola Gnocchi, $15. Each home-made (restaurant-made? I think the idea is that it did not come out of a factory) morsel had a pleasant texture to it – it was tender, but there was enough of a spring to the bite to allow the flavours in the sauce to almost expand into your mouth and really hit you with its full-bodied creaminess…almost to the extent that I got the impression that the gnocchi was really just a carrier for the sauce.

A word of warning though – I absolute love Gorgonzola. Or in fact, any strong (or indeed, just any) cheese. I would not recommend this dish for people who are a little bit squeamish about blue cheese – just like most other dishes we ate, flavours are unapologetic and bodacious.

Sean, ever the classic-lover, chose to have the Fettucine Polpette, $14 + $1.50 for homemade(?) fettucine.  The pasta again had lovely bite to it, and the sauce was rich and complex. The fettucine more than held its own here, no small feat considering the size of the GIANT MEATBALLS.

Ok, maybe not GIANT per se, but still pretty large. Sean, who will happily wolf down as many as he can stuff into his mouth at a time, had to break them up to eat them. But what a joy it was. Each bite was tender, and had its own flavour that did a lovely tango with the flavour of the sauce. Definitely something that we would order again when we go back. 

For dessert, we ordered the Tiramisu, $7 (I think). It was served with two chocolate cigars playfully planted in the creamy mascarpone. The thing is, after the delightful starter and mains, this was rather…normal. It was perfectly good Tiramisu, just that the rich mouthfuls didn’t send me to heaven and back.

In all, I would recommend Spigolo. The food is reasonable, and the staff are lovely. They are prompt and attentive, without being overbearing and breathing down your neck while you eat. We had someone check on us (once) during the meal to make sure everything was going alright, and then were left to eat in peace.

I just have one thing left to say.

GIANT MEATBALLS!!! (Could you imagine meatball Godzilla?)

We ate at:

60 Riley Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9356 3288

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Mushroom and Bacon Risotto

I’ve finally had a moment to do a bit of cooking, and with Sean’s newfound love of risotto, it’s the new challenge that I’ve decided to put my efforts toward getting right.

I heard somewhere that how you know when a risotto is ready, is when your arm gets tired. Boy, is that true. But it’s all worth it in the end, as the result was absolutely yummy!!

Mushroom and Bacon Risotto (Serves 4)
2 cups Aborio rice
1.5 L stock (I used chicken)
4 rashers bacon
Butter and Mushrooms to your taste
1 medium onion, diced

Start frying the bacon till it starts getting crispy. Add the mushrooms and half of the butter, and sauté till the mushrooms brown. Transfer to a bowl.

Start warming the stock. It should be just simmering, not a rolling boil. 

Next, saut̩ the onion on medium heat till translucent, then add the rice and half of the remaining butter. Fry till the rice is glossy. Start adding the stock Рa ladle at a time Рand stir till the stock is absorbed by the rice, before adding another ladle.

After adding about a litre of stock, start tasting the risotto to test whether the rice’s donen-ess is to your liking. It should be cooked, but still have enough of a bite to it and not just mush.

Serve with the mushroom and bacon mixture with a healthy grating of Parmesan on top. I also like to add thin shavings of butter to stir in as you eat.


Risotto isn’t that hard to make actually, and with so many ingredients, it’s hard for it not to be tasty. Just make sure that you’re using good quality stock and you’re halfway there!

What about you? Are there any reputation-ally hard dishes that you’ve cracked the secrets to?