There are lunchtime queues, but not nearly as bad as those at Jamie’s Italian, but there’s also a large bar area in which to wait, or indeed, just dine on the pizzeria and mozzarella bar menu if waiting it out for pasta is not an option.
|Pommery champagne at Café Sopra, Bridge Street, Sydney|
But when we finally do get to order, it’s hard to ignore the ‘Recession Mark II’ prices of the wine list where house red and white wines by the glass are $3.50 (Pommery by the glass, $10, is a special on the day).
Every other wine, predominantly Italian, comes in at under $13 from memory and both the Montepulciano reds I try are distractingly smooth and velvety.
|Bresaola, grilled peaches, arugula and bocconcini|
I’m still yet to find an Australian mozzarella that has some flavour in addition to the great texture of the stretched cheese, and this bocconcini was no winner. A small plate presented the thin slices of salty bresaola, of which I’m currently playing favourites with its porcine cousin, prosciutto.
Sweet and mushily grilled peach segments are the perfect offsetting taste to the salty cured meat, although the salt flake flecked rocket didn’t really help the cause.
|Nduja salami, capsicum and ricotta pizza|
But spicy the salami was, and deliciously so with the airy, piped fat worms of white ricotta cheese and colourful strips of cooked capsicum. In this case, the topping flavours were all there, leaving just the base languishing for a little more love.
The Café Sopra bar and mozzarella bar both open straight through from lunch to dinner while the proper dining section closes between 3pm to 6pm. And next time I have a long lunch, I’ll be investing it into waiting for a pasta lunch instead of that extra glass of Montepulciano.