Ensconced near the windows, I’m barely able to suppress my grin as two Darlo designer-hipsters enter.
With sharply cropped hair, asymmetric black clothing and post-Birkenstock footwear technology, they could have been lifted directly from Unhappy Hipsters.
Their aesthetic is perfect for Mauro Marcucci’s new café-come-restaurant, a minimalist Mecca of smooth concrete, shiny metal and exposed soundproofing.
By contrast the service is as warm as the afternoon sun, down to homey cross-strapped khaki aprons.
Their wearers guide you through a simple menu of small-sized snacks, from boards of cured meats and cheeses to Zucchini Flowers ($4.50) and...
...surprisingly delicate Salt Cod Croquettes ($4.50). They’re all in single serves, designed to appeal to the swathe of solo diners (the restaurant is located in the Cambridge Hotel).
Regardless of the number in your party, you’re sure to enjoy Grilled Baby Calamari ($12) with wild roquette against a glass of 2011 Ca’Del Baio Chardonnay ($12).
The wine will carry you through to a bowl of house-made Tonnarelli with Aged Pecorino Romano, Broad Beans and Black Pepper ($20); though if you choose the...
...(slightly less compelling) Bombolotti with Local Guanciale and Pecorino di Fossa ($23) you may want to advance to red.
Overall this is a welcome addition to an area consumed with artifice.
212 Riley Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9215 5140