Fans of Mediterranean food take notice when a local restaurant talks about how it embodies the Italian way of eating and sharing, with simple dishes that pay homage to the recipes of mothers and grandmothers. This is what’s happened in Neutral Bay with the opening of Italian Street kitchen.
Firstly the diversity and variety on the menu. Choose from a mouth-watering list of Roman style pizzas, carb load with a hearty portion of home-made pasta, go paleo with spit roasted meat, or indulge feast wisely style and order a bit of everything.
Secondly the price point. With the most expensive menu item priced at $18 (and a whole heap of antipasto options at less than $10) you really can’t get better bang for buck. In fact, unless you turn up famished, a dinner at Italian Street Kitchen could even be cheaper than cooking at home.
Thirdly it’s open all day and night – there’s no 12 to 3pm window for lunch, nor time restrictions due to tables being turned over. Arrive when you want and, unless it’s a busy weekend night, chances are you’ll be seated right away. Order a carafe of house wine, sit back and let the menu tempt you.
So there must be a catch? Well there’s no bookings and you do have to order at the counter and cross through the kitchen to get to the bathrooms, but that’s just being picky. With well priced “food that warms the heart and comforts the soul” on offer from morning through to late it’s no wonder I keep going back. Here are some of my menu highlights so far.
The antipasto menu is perfect for sharing – most dishes come with the most moreish home-made tomato & rosemary focaccia. Like the anchovies, olives and eggplant.
Onto my personal favourite section of the menu – the pizzas. They’re light and crispy and rosso ones are served on a San Marzano tomato base. Sit inside and watch your pizza being cooked in the wood fired oven.
The pasta? It’s made fresh daily and dried naturally. Pop by the glass windows of the kitchen during the morning and chances are you’ll see the chefs hard at work on pasta making duties. The portion is also generous – and the price point half of what you’ll commonly pay in other Italian restaurants.
As well as pizza and pasta the menu does have options that appeal to meat lovers. Like the spit roast chicken or lamb and wood-fired pork belly. They come served with a choice of salad or rosemary and garlic potatoes.
If you go weak at the knees for real Italian food then Italian Street Kitchen is a must try. It really does showcase the beauty and simplicity of casual Italian food. With every dish below $20, plenty of alfresco seating and a no bookings policy it is quickly building up a loyal following of locals.
- 5/19-21 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay 2089 NSW
- 02 9953 5888
- Open Monday to Friday 11.30am to 9.30pm (10pm on Friday), Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 9.30pm (10pm on Saturday)
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- Firefly, Neutral Bay
- Fratelli’s Wood Fired Pizza, Cremorne
- Ribs & Burgers, Neutral Bay
- Salt Meats Cheese, Mosman
- Tellicherry, Neutral Bay