Tag Archives: Concord

PaRi Pasticceria, Concord

PaRi Pasticceria, named after owners Paolo and Rita, opened just after the new year. For some time now, they have wanted to share with Sydney some of the sweets they grew up with in their home town in Sicily in Italy’s south. A pretty little spot with parquetry floors and marble tables on the Concord strip, the shelves at PaRi are laden with glistening deliciousness and service comes with a smile and authentic Italian accents.

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They particularly wanted to serve traditional Sicilian granita with brioche, something you’ll find many enjoying in the piazza in Taormina in Italy during the hot Summer for breakfast. I tried the refreshing espresso granita (it usually comes with cream on top if you choose) and it’s generous enough to share. There are a few flavours to choose from, among them strawberry, almond and pistachio. The texture of granita varies from place to place in Italy, with PaRi’s version being a smoother sorbet style.

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The Marito and I both loved the brioche with the ricotta and pear compote

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The baba was lovely, one of the better ones I’ve tried in Sydney, as was the ricotta cake.

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The (Not So) Small People rated their Nutella ciambella.

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You’ll also find plenty of other traditional Sicilian sweets such as cannoli and Minne di Sant’Agata (Saint Agatha’s breasts), a sweet with ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit. In the next few weeks you’ll find a traditional Pignolata Messinese, something hard to come by down under.

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If you’re not into sweet stuff, there are arancini with ragu and vegetarian arancini (I really liked the spinach filling, next time I will try pistachio which I’ve never had before) as well as focaccia. There’s a breakfast and brunch menu and a small selection for lunch.

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PaRi Pasticceria, 83 Majors Bay Road Concord, Ph 02 9743 425

PaRi Pasticceria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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
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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
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Raviolo di ricotta – sweet ravioli stuffed with candied fruits
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Sud, 10 Cabarita Road, Concord Ph (02) 9739 6120

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Antoine’s Grill, Concord (Guest Review)

Written by a Guest Reviewer for Napoli Restaurant Alert

Antoine’s Grill – a true taste of France in the Inner West! Antoine has worked alongside the renowned chef Alan Ducasse at La Cour Jardin in Paris and at one stage appointed private chef to the House of Roederer Cristal Champagne. (Locally, he has worked with Luke Mangan and Serge Dansereau at Bather’s Pavilion.) After the offshore stint, Antoine decided to return with his family to Australia and open up in Concord where his partner Sam grew up.

It’s a warm and intimate space with an unmistakable Gallic feel, full by 7.30pm on a weeknight, the warmth accentuated by our enthusiastic waitstaff, Thomas and Helene. After amiably talking through the dishes, we begin with melt-in-the-mouth Sydney Rock Oysters with French red wine eshaIlot, and a smokey Champagne mornay.


Next onto Yarra Valley goat cheese pannacotta, fig, beetroot, caramelized honey & port glaze. Such an elegantly presented entrée. Beautifully textured and a lovely flavour combination; but a toasted brioche or wafer would have been a nice addition.


Spanner crab soufflé, watercress, walnut, galangal scented emulsion – exceptional! The crab and galangal danced on the palate and we were surprised by the generous amount of crab in the soufflé. The accompanying salad was refreshing and beautifully light.


Quail filled with roasted mushroom, foie gras, spring onion & parsley root puree, cassis jus. The filling is delicious and the cassis jus together with the parsley root puree is just superb adding a lovely sweetness that just lifts the dish straight away. A fabulous follow on to our entrée’s.


Signature 500 day grain fed Wagyu Steak. When ordering this dish my husband was presented with a box set of Laguiole steak knives to choose from – a first in the countless number of restaurants we’ve visited around the world. This Wagyu steak was fall-apart-tender – a juicy, flavoursome main course. The accompaniments we chose – Warm roasted eggplant, with fire tomato & parsley and the French peas with mint, basil & roasted almond relish worked really well with both the quail and steak. I also tried the Roasted carrots, marjoram with herb scented sour cream and Steakhouse chips on my first visit and would also highly recommend them as sides.


Then onto dessert. Café Gourmand – chocolate vanilla profiterole, Baileys scented crème brulee, chocolate velvet fondant and miniature lemon tart. We really enjoyed this, a set of miniatures of the desserts featured on the menu. It definitely pressed all the right buttons.


Callebaut chocolate velvet fondant, Grand Marnier sauce, minatured iced “magnum”, nougatine dust. A rich and decandent dessert. Loved the flavours, loved the textures, loved the dish – full stop! What a spectacular finish to our menu. The richness and smoothness of the fondant together with the Grand Marnier sauce and the beautifully nutty textured “magnum” – Antoine absolutely nailed it!


In summary – it was a decandent, polished and precise 4 course meal at a reasonable price. We will definitely be back. Next time we will bring our children along. I was quite impressed by Antoine’s kids menu. First time I’ve come across a menu that features “real” food for children – grilled salmon, barramundi or steak – no chicken nuggets or fish fingers in sight!

Bon appetit!

Antoine’s Grill, Shop 1, 112 Majors Bay Road, Concord Ph (02) 9743 3354

Antoine's Grill on Urbanspoon