PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
There are no foams or jellies, amuse bouches or fancy schmancy ingredients. The tables aren’t set. Instead, guests have to fend for themselves, dipping into a cutlery bag given to each table. The toilet flush doubles as the sink tap, the music is loud and the tables are close together. Despite what it may seem, these are all good things. Well, everything except the toilet flush. Owned by fashion icon and restaurateur Maurice Terzini, together with Chef Orazio D’Elia, formerly of Popolo and Icebergs and Rachel Duffy, this is Da Orazio, one of my new favourite restaurants in Sydney.
A whole Berkshire pig takes prime position on the bench of the open kitchen, a great marketing ploy to convince hungry diners what to order. A bevy of young chefs, including Orazio D’Elia, flamboyantly spin dough in the air (which has naturally risen for 48 hours) for each individual pizza order before being delivered to the 2.7 tonne pizza oven, imported from Napoli.
Char grilled octopus with squid ink dressing is quietly creative, the black sauce swirled around the plate that is as visually impressive as it is tasty. A favourite pizza is hard to pick but they seem to have covered every pizza-personality in the menu from classics such as reginella (mozzarella, tomato and basil) and prosciutto (cherry tomato, rocket, parmesan and prosciutto) to inspired combinations such as friarielli with smoked mozzarella, sausage, rabe and chilli. Washed down with a house red from the all-Italian wine list or perhaps a chilled Menabrea, I doubt Da Orazio will have too many unhappy customers.