Da Orazio Pizza & Porchetta in the bustling Boheme hub on Bondi’s busy Hall Street has fast become the go-to place for good Italian fare and mighty-fine pizza.
Could we go as far as saying that this is Bondi’s little Italy? Considering Pasticceria Papa is several metres away, A’ Tavola and Messina are upstairs. Okay, that may be pushing it a tad.
A rustic trattoria this is not. White wooden chairs and tables, timber, marble and textured concrete finishes and some blatant branding on the glassware. You’ve gotta love the bar stools that double up as pizza side tables. Beats those metal stands that intrude on table real estate.
A wood-fired oven all the way from Naples takes corner position, perpetually blistering gloriously thin Neapolitan pizza; and when they’re ready the pizza maker taps a hanging bell with his paddle.
Just look at them. 32 centimetres of glistening goodness.
Gorgonzola is what drew a couple of us to the ghiottona (23) – San Marzano tomato base, capsicum, salami and not too much cheese. Glad we got one each as something this good is difficult to share.
You couldn’t scoff at the generous handling of prosciutto (25) on the third pizza on our table. Cherry tomatoes, parmesan, fior di latté and rocket make for some serious pizza fun.
Speaking of fun, even the kids can get up to roll their own bases, top them and watch as they go into the oven.
The smoked buffalo mozzarella & green bean salad (22) awakened the palate with its creamy smokiness and pops of brine and salt from black olives. Potatoes and golden ribbons of pumpkin give the salad more substance and bite.
From the specials came the Titania chestnut fed beef(29), a hunk of slow-cooked brisket rafting on a pool of lentil ragù. It’s a simple, hearty dish with some added dabs of buffalo milk curd.
We couldn’t do lunch without sampling the all-important porchetta (27 for two). I was hoping to catch sight of the porcine beast before it underwent a bit of carving action. Sadly it was already sliced and ready to serve to the hoards.
Slow-roasted and deboned, the Berkshire pork is tender, juicy and herbaceous. A small decanter of drippings and wedge of lemon are there for more juicing, should you feel the need. No sign of crackling, however.
Our final plate – the saffron capunti (29) – is lovingly mixed with melting osso bucco ragù. Not the tomato based ragù we’re accustomed to; instead a plain medley of meat, carrots and onion. A perfect dish with a glass of chilled white vino.