The Amalfi Way, Wooloomooloo’s latest al fresco dining hotspot, brings Sydney-siders the Italian coastline through world-class Mediterranean flavours.
Head Chef and Owner Luigi Esposito, hailing from Naples, has a colourful timeline in his culinary career, having started perfecting his Italian cooking in primary school. “The Amalfi Way is his love letter to the iconic Southern Italy destination, well-known for its Mediterranean climate, seafood dishes & limoncello production. Here you can enjoy honest Italian food with a focus on fresh seafood, homemade pasta and wood fired pizza.”
Walking into the venue that spreads out onto Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, diners first feast with their eyes on the themed interiors and open-air dining format that has been inspired by the attractive Italian coastline. Think: “Lemon trees, hand-painted ceramics and wood fired pizza ovens.”
As my guest (Brittany) and I were greeted by the warm waitstaff and chef, we enthusiastically flipped through the teal and mustard leather menus, browsing over the endless number of delectable dishes and cocktails.
After trialling some of their drinks, it’s safe to say their signature cocktails are a must-try, as they’re casually refreshing yet busy with flavour. I highly recommend the Sorrento: a concoction of Malfy Pink Gin, grapefruit, orange Blossom, finished with a smoke bubble; as well as the Amalfi Spritz: a fusion of Malfy Lemon Gin, elderflower liqueur, prosecco, strawberry and soda. These two cocktails emotionally transported me back to my trip in Cinque Terre, sipping on piquant spritzes with a good kick of citrus (usually grapefruit or lemon). Utter perfection.
For something classic, I suggest the Amaretto Sour – charged with the electric sweet and sourness of the maraschino, this delightful cocktail will be a teaser of what can be expected on the desserts menu later down the track...
Starting small: natural oysters with red shallots ($6 each) and with negroni ($7 each). A fine, simple choice, and I’d recommend three of each to start. Following that, we sampled the Yellow n Tuna Tartare With Zucchini Mayonnaise, Mint, Capers And Watermelon Radish ($25). At perhaps an intermediate to higher price point for a light and simple entré, this salivating dish makes up for it as a definition of honest, Italian cuisine that needs to be experienced at every table. The attractive design married with the flavourful aspects makes this starter the ultimate winner.
However, perhaps I spoke too soon… the Zucchini Flowers filled with ricotta and sfusato amal tano, and lemon zest ($18) is also a huge personal favourite. Resting on a bed of crispy kale chips, sun-baking by a pool of mayonnaise, these flowers with a unique twist bring the Amalfi way right to your table.
The pastas are a solid choice for a main when dining for lunch or dinner here. The homemade gnocchi “Alla Sorrentina” (San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, parmigiano and basil – $28) is as appetising as it is aesthetically pleasing. The seasonal hues of dark forest green (basil), a bed of red and orange leaves (gnocchi) and the crisp white elements (mozzarella) embody the enchanting spirit of autumn.
The Ravioli Caprese – a fusion of ricotta di bufala, provolone del monaco and scarpariello sauce ($35) – also comes with praise as a highly palatable pasta version of the much-adored caprese salad; an Italian twist on an Italian dish. Remarkable.
Dolce was the most challenging of choices to make during our evening at The Amalfi Way. We were tossing up between the Espresso Martini Babamisu ($16) and the Delizia Al Limone ($22). A devilishly handsome array of chocolate naughtiness versus a citrus ‘zest-pool’ of quirky bitterness... both sound incredibly enticing – well to us, anyway!
We finally chose to go with the Babamisu – traditional Baba from the Amalfi Coast soaked in Espresso Martini with mascarpone custard, creamy coffee, and pure dark chocolate, sprinkled with East African Cocoa Powder. It was a lot more alcohol-infused than I had envisioned, but all the more reason to fall drunk in love with it.
I think next time I’ll opt for the lemon madness of the Delizia Al Limone to conclude my dining experience; a mix of traditional Italian sponge cake soaked in limoncello liqueur, filled with lemon custard, covered with fresh lemon cream and decorated with lemon curd and zest. Wowza!
The Amalfi Way brings you a slice of Italy and allows you to enjoy, “I Sapori Naturali” - the taste of traditional dishes prepared with only the best ingredients.”
Tuesday to Sunday Lunch 12.00 pm 3.00 pm Dinner 6.00 pm – 10.00 pm Bar 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Pic: Head Chef and Owner Luigi Esposito.