Thursday, July 10, 2014

All-you-can-eat Pizza Autentico feast

Posted by Hendy

An existing concept applied to a different cuisine sees Italian restaurant Pizza Autentico recently open in the quiet laneway space in Surry Hills that used to be the funky Japanese Uchi Lounge.

Marrying the philosophy of Italian cuisine as simple, quality and fresh food with the (rather foreign in Sydney) concept that food should be priced reasonably, owner Hamilton Kings established Pizza Autentico as an almost churrasco-style Italian restaurant.

The communal dining table at Pizza Autentico, Brisbane Street, Surry Hills
Pizza Autentico's core offering is unlimited, all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta for lunch ($15) and dinner ($20), served in what we know in Sydney as churrascaria style, with food doing the rounds of the room and diners electing of servings of their desired dishes. Additional starters are an extra $9 while a dessert taster is another $4.50.

But hold off before thinking this is another average, all-you-can-eat venue. Diners at the communal table can choose from a rotating variety of 12 traditional pizza and five pasta options that are brought around the table over a 1.5 hour sitting (vegetarian or vegan options separate).

The focus is on traditional toppings and varieties using simple, fresh ingredients - some sourced from  from Salt Meats Cheese in Alexandria. Don't come expecting any lamb, chicken or pineapple on your pizzas.

House made bread
The restaurant space is welcoming with simple, honest decor in quite a minimalist feel starring a long, communal dining table that extends the length of the dining room - perhaps the very same table of its former Japanese tenant. The framed black and white photos on the side wall are worthy of exhibiting.

A basket of house made bread is served upon your arrival, as if you needed more carbs to start an all-you-can-eat carb fest. The bread is at least crusty and makes for good dipping in the olive oil that is part of the olive trio board.

Trio of olives - olive oil, olive tapenade and marinated olives
The board presents a small offering of extra virgin olive oil, olive tapenade - made with olives and nothing but olives - and another small bowl of black olives, kickstarting the palate for a Italian feast.

Tenuta Valpolicella wine
To match its pizza and pasta offerings, Pizza Autentico has a selection of only Italian wines as well as Italian-influenced cocktails. The Tenuta Valpolicella from the norther Veneto region in Italy was a light and slightly fruity red wine.

Margherita pizza
Medium-sized, thin-based pizzas sliced into six slices would make their way around the tables, starting with a margherita pizza that was light with subtle hints of oregano through the thin layer of cheese and tomato.

The light flavours made the margherita pleasantly easy to have in the first instance.

Valtellinese pizza: shaved beef, rocket and shaved parmesan
The Valtellinese pizza featured shaved bresaola cured beef on each slice dusted with shaved parmesan. Being simple and humble in flavours, it allowed the shaved beef topping to really shine.

Orecchiette norma: pasta with eggplant and ricotta
The first pasta that I tried was the orecchiette norma featuring firm eggplant pieces and a light napoli tomato sauce mixed through the al dente pasta. Ricotta cheese added some creaminess to the Italian staple pasta.

Spaghetti bolognese with shaved parmesan and chili flakes
Interestingly, given the all-you-can eat option, you only get one plate for the night. You end up with a bowl that combines the sauce from the previous pasta with the new pasta; at least giving the next pasta quite a unique flavour.

The classic spaghetti bolognese was what you would expect from a traditional bolognese: loads of hearty tomato sauce studded with beef, all soaked up by thin spaghetti pasta.

Classic spaghetti bolognese
As expected, I had a rather messy bowl especially after twirling the spaghetti. Dried chilli flakes offered on the side gave the bolognese extra punch.

Trofie pesto: trofie coated in basil pesto sauce
The last pasta I had before carbing-out was the trofie pesto. Pesto has always been a favourite pasta sauce of mine.

In this case, the pesto mixed with the napoli sauce from the previous orecchiette and spaghetti servings, with the wait staff candidly explaining how there is an Italian sauce combining the best of pesto and napoli sauce.

My first time seeing and having trofie, it had a soft, buttery and doughy texture, contrasting with the coarsely chopped pine nuts pieces of the pesto. This was my favourite of the three pastas I sampled, and completely deserving of another serve.

A wall installation depicting Italy
Pizza Autentico is an interesting new concept focused on simple and traditional Italian dishes at a price point that's considered cheap in Surry Hills. And if that's not enough to feast on, the churrasco all-you-can-eat style should sort you out.

Food, Booze & Shoes dined at Pizza Autentico as a guest, with thanks to Evans Media.

Pizza Autentico on Urbanspoon


Cassie | Journey From Within said...

amazing shots btw! :D
the trofie pesto looks so delicious!! :D :D :D

The Sydney Noob said...

Looks good! carb loading settled.

Annie said...

all you can eat pizza sounds like a guilty pleasure :)

Sam Crisp said...

Pizza is one of my fav. Its really yummy and delicious.

Hendy said...

All you can eat pizza (+ pasta) definitely more naughtier than all you can eat pizza :)

Cassie, the trofie pesto was my yum, my fav. Never heard of trofie until I had that bowl. Yum!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

All you can eat pizza sounds like a dangerous proposition! lol

Jade Graham said...

De Pizzabus is er natuurlijk ook voor bedrijven. Voor alle gelegenheden, groot of klein is De Pizzabus inzetbaar, 's avonds maar ook overdag. Food Trucks In Los Angeles


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