Review: ReccoLab, Rozelle
Shop A4 120 Terry Street, Rozelle, NSW
Bakery 7:00am – 3:30pm Tues – Sun
Restaurant 5:30pm – late Wed – Sun
02 9555 1706
Recco or Rozelle? It turns out it doesn’t matter thanks to Antonio and his team as ReccoLab brings the perfect slice of Italy to the inner west.
As you enter through the front door you’re greeted with wide olive shaded smiles, recognisable Italian phrases and the sound of dough stretching and pasta tossing. You know you’re in for an authentic experience. It’s the smell of Nonna’s cooking, but in a modern Italian restaurant fitted with tiled columns, large pendant lights and floor to ceiling glass paneling revealing the kitchen lab where the magic happens. The lab is clad with stainless steel , filled with busy chefs, huge workbenches and mile high baking trays, yet there is still something so warm and nostalgic about the space, like the oversized pots of sugo (sauce) bubbling over the gas stoves and the flour drenched benches that remind you of the passion and craft of cooking.
You take your seat and find yourself rewarded with a mixed basket of delicious focaccia and pizza slices – olive, tomato, cheese to name a few. The perfect injection to tide you over whilst exploring the menu.
Please note – if you’re not into carbs, then this is not the place for you.
The double sided menu features a plethora of Italian gems including Antipasti, Foccaccia col Formaggio, Pizza, Pasta, Secondi and sides. Loosen the belt buckle, you’re in for a starch laced trip to heaven.
If you’re like us, you’ll struggle to decide on what to order, and the torment of choice may be too much to handle. To resolve this we left it to our knowledgeable Roman waiter to decide for us. First to arrive, two glasses of red. Want to know which type? We couldn’t tell you. All Italian red wine is good wine, nod, say Grazie and smile. We were off to a good start.
The Foccaccia col Formaggio di ReccoLab is a signature dish for the restaurant and the town of Recco in Italy- simply put, you cannot give this a miss. It would be a sin. For your first Ligurian masterpiece stick to La Classica ($25) – two paper thin layers of homemade dough filled with imported Italian Stracchino cheese. Think an Italian Style Gozleme, but much thinner and better. It is melt in your mouth good. And, if you want to add a little extra kick, the house infused chilli oil on your table makes for the perfect pairing.
To accompany your foccaccia we recommend La Frittura ($23) – fried mini calamari rings, king prawns and skinny zucchini chips. Absolutely moorish, crispy and artistically placed on top of a crushed paper bag – old school charm at its best. Special mention to the size of aioli- thick, creamy and an enormous pot of it. Remember, an Italian never wants you to go hungry.
Pizza and Pasta, the classics that need to be mastered, and boy were they ever.
The Gnocchi ($25), large but fluffy and cloud-like are generously tossed and coated with homemade bolognese ragu and generously sprinkled with shaved Grana Padano. Parcels of whipped potato that don’t leave you feeling overloaded. The Prosciutto Pizza ($24), a little different and we welcomed it. The foccacia-like base was served pre-cut and arranged into a triangular kaleidoscopic pattern on the plate topped with the freshest and creamiest mozzarella fior di latte, diced tomatoes, sugo, layered san daniele prosciutto, grana padano and decorated with peppery rocket. A fresh yet slightly salted explosion in your mouth.
Take a breather, sit still for 10 minutes and make way for dessert. There’s always room.
If you want to stay traditional, you can’t go past the Tiramisu ($12), it’s an Italian staple which the ReccoLab team have perfected. If you want to indulge a little further, the Fondente al cioccolato ($13) is sure to top off your night of delicious gluttony. It could also be a strategic choice as it has a baking time of 15 minutes, allowing your stomach to have a little breather. And last but not least, if you need a refreshing hit to finish off your evening can you really go past the Affogato ($12)? Two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream with espresso coffee, and of shot of your choice of liquor- bellissima!
If you’re looking for authentic Italian food, but with an interestingly fresh twist, ReccoLab is the spot for you.