Sud, Concord

It’s no secret that Italy has been in some fairly dire economic circumstances in recent years. This has meant there has been an exodus of its young, highly educated workforce. I was surprised to find on a trip to our Hong Kong office last year a cluster of people from Milan and Rome – extremely talented, they couldn’t be in an environment more different from home (“have you seen the price of prosciutto here!” one of them said to me), but necessity has meant they had to leave it behind and find employment elsewhere.

Australia has also been the beneficiary of this exodus, particularly in hospitality and food. Attracted by our climate – which is not that dissimilar to Southern Italy – our great produce, and an existing large Italian population (they’re bound to find a long lost relative or a cousin somewhere), we’ve seen some very talented Italian chefs, pizzaioli and gelato makers arrive on our shores. Paolo Gatto is one of those. He and his wife Rita arrived in Australia in 2008, and opened Gatto Matto in 2011. It has gotten better and better since my first visit, driven by Paolo’s passion (the name Crazy Cat is no coincidence) and Rita’s warmth. They have now opened a second venue, Sud, which simply means South. Southern Italian street food is the order of the day – it is where they are from, and it is the food close to their heart.

We arrive relatively early but within half an hour the place is buzzing, pretty good just one week after opening. While I sip my Bellini we peruse the menu, which is charmingly smattered with Sicilian dialect, and debate what to order – over-ordering would be very easy here because there is plenty to tempt. Fortunately most dishes are for sharing so we get to try quite a bit, though I see plenty of other dishes emerging from the kitchen, including a fabulous large antipasto platter for a big group, that we will have to try next time. The pizza bases are excellent and so are the toppings. But one of the favourites of the night is the baby octopus that comes with the spiedinu. I find out that it has undergone six hours of confit – if that’s Sicilian street food, unemployment be damned, I’m moving there; the rosemary flavoured wedges that accompany it are delicious too. The trofie cu sugu is also another winner (if it is nonna’s recipe as it says on the menu then to be expected), a fragrant, rich, robust meat sauce.

We are wondering what to order for dessert and aren’t convinced when the raviolo di ricotta is suggested to us, but decide to give it a whirl and we love it. It is a giant raviolio which can easily serve 4, and I’m glad the honey is on the side because I don’t think this light dough with a gorgeous creamy filling needs any further embellishment. The cuzzoli, light ribbons of dough to be dipped in the accompanying Nutella, are a crowd pleaser, but anything with Nutella always will be.

With generous serves, great flavour, and an attractive price point – the most expensive menu item is $28 – you’ll find a great little slice of Southern Italy in downtown Concord.

Arancini – deep fried rice balls filled with ragu and peas
sud (11)

Panzerotti fritti – fried calzone filled with mozzarella and ham
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Calamari and chips
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Pizza Margherita
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Pizza vegeteriana – fiordilatte mozzarella, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini and truffle oil
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Pizza Italiana – fiordilatter mozzarella, prosciutto, rocket, cherry tomatoes, parmesan
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Trofie cu sugu
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Spiedinu di pisci – prawn and swordfish skewer with baby octopus, salad and potato wedges
sud (12)

Raviolo di ricotta – sweet ravioli stuffed with candied fruits
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Cuzzoli
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sud (2)sud (1)sud (17)sud (14)sud (3)sud (6)

Sud, 10 Cabarita Road, Concord Ph (02) 9739 6120
http://www.sudfood.com.au

Sud on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “Sud, Concord

  1. Francesca

    That looks like a very good spot to eat, good prices and new Italian energy, and the lucky couple, being able to settle here!
    Many young Italians come to Australia in search of work or re-settlement and migration, but few are allowed to remain after there one or extended two year work visa, unless they happen to have immediate family here or have skills in the area chosen by our government ( a list that changes yearly), and gain sponsorship, or pay large sums to study here. There are now more Italian arrivals in Australia than there were in the total post war year period- over 300,000- but not many are able to migrate or settle permanently. The avenues are very few, which, to me is really sad. If you have young, willing workers, who have good English skills and are ready to contribute to this society, there should be a few more open avenues.This is an issue very close to my heart as I ‘adopt’ young Italian travellers and assist them in this where I can.

    Reply
    1. NapoliRestaurantAlert Post author

      Funnily enough the Australian government has been advertising in Italy – they were offering ‘fast track’ visas for certain professions including chefs and builders. It is great to have an influx of young, enthusiastic, passionate chef’s – there hasn’t been this wave of Italians coming in since my parents in the 70’s I think.

      Reply
      1. Francesca

        it is a huge wave. Chefs and builders might get a go- all the lads who stay with me have a struggle as they have other backgrounds. The visa arrangements are really strict.

  2. Isabella

    We ate here in the weekend and it was brilliant! You could feel the excitement from staff and patrons. Rita & Paolo make you feel like your at home. My favourite was the swordfish and prawn skewers with the octopus salad! Great food! Im going back to try the panino i saw come out of the kitchen! It was huge!

    Reply

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