I've been wanting to check out Cafe Sopra and Fratelli Fresh for a while now, but could never be bothered visiting one of the existing outposts. So I was quite happy when a new one seemingly popped up overnight in the CBD, where I do the majority of my culinary consumption.
Everything I hoped for. In short.
Produce is stupidly good, dishes are uncomplicated, prices are very reasonable, flavours are spot on.
The caprese is one of the best versions I've ever had. Totally basic in terms of ingredients and presentation, but with some of the most delicious tomatoes I can remember.
Panzanilla with white anchovies is similarly delicious.
Fried zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese? Forget about it. Deliciously cheesey, executed perfectly and moreish to the detriment of my health.
Pasta features heavily on the menu. While the spaghetti in tomato sauce is simple, the meatballs are superlative. A bit of cumin giving them a meaty sweetness.
Orechiette with peas and salsice is simple but extremely delicious.
Oh, and massive. The portions are huge. After a zucchini flower as an appetiser, an entree, a side of bread and a bowl of pasta each we're ridiculously full. But... you know... dessert and all that...
I go for, of course, the tiramisu. It's a tiramisu and it's bloody good. Creamy, a little sweet, a little bit of coffee, a little bit of booze, a little cakey. It's the sort of tiramisu you'd get at home.
The wine list is short, but interesting and well priced.
Service is fine. The place can occasionally be dominated by irritating banker-types that spoil the Italian atmosphere, but the food quickly distracts. Although I wouldn't want to be on the end tables that people constantly wander past after they meander down the stairs.
Pretty much everything I look for in a restaurant in terms of food an experience though. Simple, uncomplicated food with a few, excellent ingredients, executed perfectly and priced reasonably.
RATING: Will return to [?]