Forget red or black – this new Italian eatery inside The Star Sydney takes the gamble out of where to eat and drink in Pyrmont. 

We can all admit that choosing where to eat –  whether that be for lunch or dinner – can almost seem like a gamble in itself. But, thanks to Pyrmont’s newest addition, Cucina Porto, deciding on where to source some of the best Italian eats and carefully curated cocktails, has never been easier.

Conveniently located on the ground floor inside The Star Sydney, Cucina Porto promises visitors that even though you can’t get to Italy right now, Italy can be brought to you thanks to their modernised take on the traditional Italian cuisine.

Opening late 2020 amid Australia’s COVID-19 lockdowns, Cucina Porto serves up simple and honest Italian food that matches seamlessly with their touch of old-world hospitality and charm. Marking the first of several new dining destinations that The Star is set to welcome, Cucina Porto proves to be a go-to for Sydneysiders seeking a casual Italian restaurant meets bar all in one.

Designed with a home away from home feel for both staff and visitors alike; this new Italian haven in Sydney is led by executive chef Martino Pulito (previously Pasta Emilia) who ensures that Cucina Porto sees an delicious combination of honest Italian cuisine without the unpretentious spirit. Forget knives and forks, the pizza here should be enjoyed the real, Italian way – hands only, folding optional.

From his own iconic family table to his favourite recipes from his home region of Puglia, Italy; Cucina Porto draws on Pulito’s heritage and favourite childhood memories. “Much like at home, my  dishes at Cucina Porto use just a handful of ingredients, most of which are sourced locally, to create honest, authentic and uncomplicated food that celebrates Italian culture”, he says.

“At Cucina Porto I want  families and friends to come together to experience a version of my Italian traditions and culture.”

An authentic-meets-modern take on the Italian cuisine, Cucina Porto’s menu comes to life in their partially open kitchen that highlights the best in locally sourced produce. Synonymous with Italian culture, each dish is delivered with an equal balance of care and passion. From familiar favourites to more adventurous options, Cucina Porto is designed to appease every palate. Structured with an extensive list of aperitivo, antipasti, second, side and dessert dishes, there is plenty to be spoilt by.

Think Stone Baked Bread ($7) with an olive tapenade or freshly shucked Market Oysters ($5) to start; slow-cooked rosemary-infused beef and lamb ragu Schiaffoni ($27) for your main; a woodfire-pizza-oven-made Capricciosa ($26) pizza topped with fior di latte, ham, mushroom, artichoke and olives to share; and, to end on a sweet treat, The Pear ($18) dessert which sees limoncello sorbet married together with an almond bavarois and a single poached pear.

And, if casual after-work drinks are more your forte, Cucina Porto’s chic designed in-house bar becomes the perfect point of call for Sydneysiders regardless of the day of the week. Featuring an impressive lineup of classics including Campari and Aperol, the space is highlighted by its tasseled velvet bar stools hanging off the bar, or rattan-clad detailing as it swings towards Cucina Porto’s floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on The Star’s impressive food esplanade.

Shaken up by award-winning bar manager Behzad Nvaziri, the drinks list features six different takes on the 1860-designed negroni whilst also paying homage to other famed Italian cocktail classics. For something equally refreshing and invigorating, we’d recommend the Sgroppino which sees a cocktail coupe filled with chilled vodka, prosecco and topped with a scoop of frozen lemon sorbet. Or for a seamless pair to your meal, in-house sommelier Addy Lam will help showcase their selection of Italian and Australian produced wines, all traditionally served in a decanter.

Featuring a laidback interior, guests are greeted by gold finishings, textured pastels, ceramic-lined walls and open shelving all painting a casual yet elegant feel to the space. Seating 170 patrons at full capacity, Cucina Porto also offers a private dining room that seats up to 12 guests for a more intimate and personal dining experience.

All in all, Cucina Porto is the hottest addition to The Star Sydney – the newest Italian restaurant and bar Pyrmont never knew it needed until now.

Cucina Porto
Level G, Harbourside, The Star Sydney, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Monday – Sunday, 11am – 10pm
1800 700 700

Sydney, are you ready to indulge more in the Italian cuisine? Now you can with our guide to Sydney’s 10 best Italian restaurants of 2021. Or for an Italian-inspired dessert to make at home, why not treat your tastebuds to this Banoffee Torta Recipe by Fratelli Fresh?

Feature image supplied.
Editor’s Note: Hunter and Bligh was gifted an experience by Cucina Porto. All reviews are authentic and are in no way influenced by our partnership.