Earlier this week was my Dad’s birthday so I made a little trip over to his (and incidentally my) favourite Italian bakery, Haberfield’s Pasticceria Papa!! I’m going to make a fairly big call here and say that this place makes what has got to be the best baked ricotta cheesecake and Cannoli in all of Sydney (see told you it was big). I love everything about Papa’s so it’s pretty lucky I live far enough away to not make regular visits! Buyers beware, it doesn’t matter what day you go, or what time, there will always be a line out the door. But never fear, aside from this being a fantastic sign of good food that the locals love, the line moves fairly quickly and gives you an opportunity to peruse the delicious assortment of cakes, biscuits, gelato and pastries that are available.
So before I went I made a promise to myself that no matter what I would only purchase what I came for, Cannoli, not matter what temptations there were and trust me, there were plenty. One of the best things about this place (apart from the food) is the warm chocolate smell that greets you as you walk in the front door. Never in my life have I smelt something as good as this! As I mentioned before, I was on a Cannoli mission and because I’m the most indecisive person in the history of the planet I opted for the mini cannoli in both chocolate and ricotta (they also come in vanilla).
Personally, I would recommend….getting both! because who wants to miss out on anything and at around $1.60 each who cares! Secretly and in hindsight I could easily have eaten two large ones. Nothing beats the crisp, fried pastry which encases the rich, creamy centre of the cannoli! Whilst I was waiting in line I discovered that they also now sell their traditional baked ricotta cheesecakes (in small individual serves or larger cakes) with a nutella stuffed centre!!! I promise you it took every part of my self control not to buy a few extras!
For dinner we headed to another of my Dad’s favourite places Pizzeria Locale at Meadowbank (sensing an Italian food trend here!). Even though I’ve only been here a couple of times I love the food, which is very traditional, fresh and most of all is great value. The restaurant itself is family owned and run and so has a really great family friendly vibe. For a Wednesday night it was also very busy which goes to show that I’m not the only one who enjoys it.
For an entre we all shared the proscuitto pizza ($19) which would have to be my favourite flavour and I was not disappointed. The base was slight and thinly rolled with a crisp outside and soft centre, topped with thin slices of fresh proscuitto, crisp green rocket and shaved parmesan cheese. Absolute perfection!
For my main I had the Spaghetti Locale (about $25) which had a rich tomato sauce, pippies and prawns. I opted to get fettucini because thats my favourite but my sister had the spaghetti and both looked equally as good. My serve was huge!! I actually couldn’t finish it so I had to give it to mum. The sauce was really lovely though and had a little hint of chilli that gave a great kick!
My parents both got the snapper special ($27) which they both really enjoyed, although I think they were still a little hungry afterwards. That being said, the fish was cooked perfectly, with moist flakes accompanied by a date, rocket and pear salad!
Because Dad didn’t know about the cannoli surprise at home he also had the Cassata Gelato which is basically three flavours (chocolate, nougat and zabaglione) of gelato together. This was on the specials board and normally i don’t like Cassata but the gelato was lovely and creamy and I liked that the three flavours were separate (i’m not sure if thats the usual way to serve it). If your after a great dessert though I’d very much recommend the locale mess which has honeycomb, meringue, macadamia and salted caramel and vanilla gelato! ($13) mmmm yum!!
Overall, I’d highly recommend a visit to either of this fine venues if your after a great family night out or good quality Italian produce at a decent price! You can’t go wrong!
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