Orazio D’Elia, formerly of Popolo and Icebergs
Minimalist & white, is what you should expect when you walk into to Da Orazio.It’s a cool and casual coastal pizzeria, decked out in various shades of white with one main attraction being the oversized pizza oven from Naples, which fills the place with so many beautiful aromas; oregano, basil … pizza….Mmmm!
The restaurant is buzzing every night of the week. It gets very busy but the staff (we found) could handle it. They were very accommodating of our group of four – Especially when taking advantage of the affordable share/set menu. I came here for a family dinner, but I would also consider coming here for a casual date or with friends for a quick feed and a glass of wine.
$$ Definitely try the set menu if you’re hungry, it’s great value for money at $45pp and you get to try some of the best dishes in the one sitting (min of 4 people)
The Food is “Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza and Roman-style porchetta”. If you don’t know, Porchetta is deboned pork, arranged in layers, with herbs, rolled and roasted. As mentioned, we opted for the La Tavolata option, which is the set menu. The menu doesn’t specify each item but when served, it’s actually a lot of food.
First up we had the antipasti : herbed pizza bread, a selection of cheeses, picked vegetables and a large plate of amazing meats. Really great start! The arrosticini, the little lamb skewers were juicy and subtly flavoured. We had a choice of four pizzas to share. The Pizzas are very authentic in the sense that they focus on a few key ingredients. We went with the diavoletta (fior di latte, san marzano tomato, hot salami). Really simple, spicy and satisfying. The caponatina (smoked mozzarella, fior di latte,zucchini, capsicum, eggplant, tomato) was light and fresh, the raw cheese on top introduces a new texture and flavour to each bite. The pizzas were served with a mixed leaf salad. Instead of ordering 2 more pizza’s we asked if we could get the porchetta alla romana – the staff were happy to make this happen. The pulled porchetta was really moist, a bit too fatty for my liking but had a great punchy flavour. For dessert we had the ciambelle, small Doughnuts with Ricotta served with watermelon. The Ciambelle were light and fluffy, a nice finish to a great meal. The watermelon was an odd touch, I did eat it all regardless, although with somewhat of a confused expression.
On a separate occasion I had the Focaccia con porchetta, which is basically a pizza sandwich of porchetta, cos lettuce and marinated grilled eggplant and lots of mayo – OMG!!! I don’t know if it was because I was starving or not but it was incredible! Euphoria in my mouth! We also had the lamb cutlets, lots of lemon, chilli, fresh greens, somewhat vietnamese style – Delicious to share. For dessert, the House Tiramisu is hands down the BEST I’ve had in a long time! The chocolate mousse is nice but was over shadowed by the Tiramisu.
Bondi casual is the way to go, which usually translates to at least one denim item. Channel Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton from www.theyallhateus.com nail the look.
Also If you don’t feel like dining out, you can always go for the take away option (cheaper than Crust – prices start from $18). One thing I didn’t like about the restaurant was the bathrooms! The basin and toilet is one unit, so you wash your hands leaning over the toilet. Not a fan. Too much splash back from the small basin and I really don’t like leaning over the toilet bowl, drunk or sober!
Photo credit: cover image from Goodfood.com.au