Sydney’s restaurant downscaling continues with La Sala’s menu now reflecting the current economic times with mains under the thirty dollar mark, a two course pre-theatre special for fifty dollars and an excellent pasta special that lets you enjoy a pasta, well-dressed salad and a glass of wine for an astoundingly low twenty bucks. Remember of course, we’re talking about freshly house-made pasta, bread, ice-cream – you name it, newly-promoted chef Nader Shayeb is making it in-house.
Now as you may recall, it's not the first time I have dined at La Sala, I also dined back in June 2008 (read my thoughts HERE) and declared it my favourite Italian restaurant. Sadly under a new chef, with new ideals, it isn't the restaurant I remember. That said,the restaurant was too expensive, and now it is not.
We started with some Focaccia and Olive Oil ($4) which was nice with a particularly vibrant Italian olive oil.
My Linguine with Clams, White Wine, Garlic and Chilli ($24) was simple, and let the silky pasta shine.
My dining companion’s Gnocchi with Meat Ragu and Tarragon ($24) was a shade past toothsome but still felt like a bargain. The wine list is still extensive and interesting, but the wider price range allows for bargains too. The wines included with the special, a 2007 Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc (normally $10) and a 2007 Monte Campo Montepulicano d’Abruzzo IGT (normally $8) were both pleasurable drops.
Admittedly some of the soaring heights are gone – but with that comes the ability to go more often, without an occasion, or a hefty bill. If nothing else wins you, go for the Tuscan Fries ($8), possibly Sydney’s best fry experience (and I’m not kidding). I really like fried herbs at the moment - they are so fragrant!
Ground Floor, 23 Foster Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9281 9034