La Capannina (Kirribilli)

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Back in October of last year I had a short holiday to Europe/USA. Unfortunately I had a work project that chewed-up a few days of my holiday and when my holiday came to an end, I knew I was going to be snowed in with work when I got home…

In the space of a handful of days, I went through 5 time zones (UK, Italy, U.S.A, UAE and then Australia) to land in Sydney after a 24 hour flight at 6am to find myself in the office that morning and continue to work on the deal until 4am and we are back in the office at 7am the next day to close things out. Not exactly fond memories!!!

But the good news is we did close the deal eventually and to celebrate, I am off to a lovely a little noshery next to the harbour in Kirribilli. Cheers to that!  

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On the menu is good old fashion Italian food. La Capannina is a amazing Italian restaurant with breathtaking views of the bridge (and if you get the right table) the harbour. We start with some antipasti to share… this is how it’s done in Italy! I love the communal dining thing… small plates shared amongst those closest to you. Here’s what we have:

Squid with a special mixed vegetables and breadcrumbs filling – The soft tender squid retains its natural flavours, but the stuffing adds a soft touch to the dish. Its flavour, but not overpowering… the squid is the star of this dish.

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Scallops wrapped in prosciutto – these are amazing! Soft flavoursome scallops paired with the distinct salty prosciutto taste. Amazing!

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Octopus Salad – divine with a beautiful, tender but firm octopus meat on bed of vegetable salad and puree. It’s the sort of cold summer seafood salad dish that Sydney is all about.

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Then we are onto the mains – what does one do with the main course? Fresh grilled meats or seafood. I decide to go for seafood… it’s summer after all. I go for a mixed grill plate of fresh Sydney Seafood.

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It has Balmain Bugs, Prawns, Squid, Fish and Prawns (purchased fresh daily from Sydney’s Seafood Markets by the owner). It’s divine, there’s little seasoning so the seafood really needs to shine, and it does! Succulent tender melt in your mouth prawns, squid and Balmain bugs with just fall out of the shell… I dream of the Adriatic Sea, the Caribbean, and the coastal village of Portofino. I am lost for words… this is a perfect dish, so simple and yet so amazing. Let’s not forget the market fresh fish, which just flakes on the fork. It’s faultless. It’s just the same as life isn’t it; simple things can be so wonderful. I then realise I am so engrossed in my food that I am disengaged from conversation, so I forget my food for a second to continue to chat.

My fellow diners have a Char-grilled eye fillet served with lentils on bed of lovely tomatos and eggplant and a Ravioli Porcini.

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We go with a lovely bottle of Kalleske “Pirathon” Shiraz (2009). This is a wine that is faultless, full bodied with taste of plums, peppery spice and a subtle touch of oak. I seriously recommend getting a case of it.  

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The flow then takes us to dessert. I have the Torta Caprese – A traditional chocolate & almond cake from the Island of Capri! It’s soft, you can taste the grainy almond meal in the cake and the chocolate flavour is not too sweet, but gives you that cocoa hit you want! Then there is the vanilla ice-cream on the bet of gravel pistachio nuts… flavour, texture and presentation all in one!

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My counterpart goes for the Pannacotta, while others just skip dessert.

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We finish our desserts, the conversation continues to flow and then we call it to a close! What a lovely day, the harbour, the view, the food…it’s all so amazing.

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