As many of you know, I started blogging in order to write down my family’s recipes and keep them handy for me and my daughters and to clear up some of the most common misconceptions and misrepresentations of Italian food in the world. After blogging for a few months though, I feel the need to write about other things as well. I want my blog to be a kind of food journal, where l write about my experiences with food, new produce, things I discover and restaurants l eat in, not just recipes. You will still find that the majority of posts will be about recipes, but I will also write about other food related experiences every now and then.
The first post of this new “series” is going to be a restaurant review. Yes, my first review! I chose a place I am familiar with both for cuisine and because my family and I have been eating there for years. I am talking about Caffe’ Moretti, a ristorante-pizzeria in Leichhardt. For those of you who are not familiar with Sydney, Leichhardt is the “Little Italy” of Sydney, where you find plenty of Italian inspired restaurants, cafés, shops… If you want to buy some Italian food, Leichhardt is a good place to shop as chances are you will find what you are looking for.
I still remember the first time I ate at Moretti. My husband and I had just moved here from Italy and we were craving pizza… We tried to satisfy our craving in the city, but the experience was awful and I personally was quite worried about any other future attempt. An Italian friend of ours who was living in Sydney recommended Caffe’ Moretti to us… this friend is also a chef, so I was really happy when he came up with a suggestion! We went out for pizza the following weekend. Needless to say, we loved it. It is just like eating pizza back in Italy! We have been eating pizza there often (as often as you can when you have 2 very young children and do not live in the area) and the quality of food and service is always consistent.
The place is not too big and it can get crowded at times so we tend to go there early… that is why you don’t see many people in the pictures. Much of the clientèle is Italian, which is an indication of the authenticity of their food. There is a bar and a flat screen TV where they sometimes show soccer matches. It is a very “familiar” place, just a typical Italian “pizzeria”, so do not expect silverware (not that you would need any… pizza should be eaten with your hands!!!).
We have only eaten pizza there, even though they serve Italian food from appetisers to desserts. So I will only review their pizze as I have not tried any other dish (though I will need to try their mussels sooner or later as whenever we go, there’s always someone eating them and they smell divine!).
I have tried a few of their pizze and they are all extremely good. There is one thing I need to say about Italian pizza which I am sure the majority of you already know, but it never hurts to repeat it. Italian piazza does not come overflowing with toppings. The “real” Italian pizza has “just enough” toppings to balance the flavours and that is why when you eat an Italian pizza you do not feel as full as when you eat an “imitation”. It is also why Italians eat 1 full pizza per person. That is our meal! Typically, when you eat pizza out in Italy, you order a pizza (per person) and a drink, followed by dessert (often ice cream). If you are interested, you can learn more about Pizza toppings – the do’s and don’ts, in the Techniques page of this site.
Now, to get back to my review… Moretti’s pizze are just right… perfect ratio of toppings to base. They come with a thin base and a crunchy crust and they are cooked in a traditional wood fired oven, which is right there in front of the dining area! I love that you can get to see how pizze are made, from working the dough, to putting the toppings and even the cooking process. It so reminds me of “home”.
They use simple and good quality ingredients (like real mozzarella and not the plasticky cheese used in many places) and you can taste the difference.
In the last few years, I have eaten:
Margherita (tomato sauce, bocconcini and basil)
Diavola (tomato sauce, bocconcini and hot salami)
Trastevere (bocconcini, sliced potato, rosemary and roman sausage)
Popolo (tomato sauce, bocconcini, mushrooms and prosciutto crudo)
Jema (bocconcini, gorgonzola, figs and prosciutto crudo)
San Pietro (bocconcini, zucchini flowers and anchovies)
The other day, we were in Leichhardt for my eldest daughter’s story time in Italian at the Co.As.It. and we decided to stop by Moretti and have pizza before heading back home. I ordered a Margherita (and shared it with the girls)
and Clint ordered his all-time favourite pizza: Diavola.
As you can see from the pictures they were as good as always! Nice tomato sauce base, deliciously melted mozzarella and, for the Diavola, thin slices of spicy salami.
What keeps us coming back are both the authenticity and quality of food and the friendly service. The people at Moretti are always very attentive and their service is fast and prompt. It is also a very family friendly place, which is a plus for people like us who eat out with 2 small kids. They always have coloured pencils for the little ones who get to draw on the paper tablecloth till the pizza is ready! They have many highchairs for toddlers, which is another big plus… so you are assured that you can find one for your child.
You can check out their menu and they always have a few specials written on a blackboard, so make sure to check that out too before ordering… and Buon Appetito!