PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
I adore everything about Italy – from the simple and fresh food philosophy to the way the locals seem to welcome complete strangers into their homes and Cipri, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, embodies everything that I love about that boot-shaped country. Brothers Joe, Anthony and Carmelo are the driving force behind this Paddington stalwart, while their mum, Maria, can still often be found out the back, rolling fresh pasta. Vintage photos line the restaurant's walls, telling the Cipri family story. As soon as you walk in the door, you know that this restaurant has been in the family for generations; true blue (or should I say, "vero azzuri"?) hospitality is in the Cipri family's DNA.
In true Italian style, the menu features dishes with just a handful of ingredients, paying utmost respect to the quality of the produce. We start with burrata (a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream), which sits proudly on a colourful heirloom tomato salad. A smoky, yet creamy eggplant puree is the perfect complement to sesame crusted tuna, the seeds creating a textural contrast to the meaty flesh of the fish. Squid ink ravioli, stuffed with snapper, calamari and crab, is coupled with a subtle broth of cherry tomatoes, prawns and asparagus. Cipri stands for the two things that I value and appreciate most in life - food and family and it is a pleasure dining there.