Sydney

Nuts to miss Caffe Sicilia

Jonathan Porter

On a stretch of Sydney’s Crown Street something nice has happened.

Caffe Sicilia is a clean well lighted place where the service is beyond reproach and every delicious morsel on the menu is ideally matched to a venerable Sicilian wine – or beer.

Right now, this very month, Caffe Sicilia is celebrating the almond harvest. A rich source of vitamin E and said by some to be an aphrodisiac the almond and its harvest is an important part of Sicilian cultural life.

Speaking of aphrodisiacs, I’ve barely had occasion to tangle with them, or indeed foreign kickshaws generally. But I do remember one night drinking bear penis wine in the office of Gerald Beresford Ponsonby Peacock.

I recall Gerry asking if I had a girlfriend before he administered the dose (this was back in the ‘90s when I was a young hotshot political reporter).

“Why?’’ I asked. “I had a couple in here from the electorate a few days ago’’, he explained,’’ it appeared they had been having trouble in the boudoir. “They had a shot each and barely made it to the lift,’’ he said with a chuckle.

In Sicily, almonds blossom in February and the city of Agrigento has dedicated a week long festival to celebrate the new harvest and welcome in spring. From March 1st, Caffe Sicilia is offering its customers a three-course almond degustation menu for $55 per person to honor the almond harvesting season.

Each dish on the menu uses almond as a key ingredient, with highlights including the almond praline snapper fillet and almond marzipan coated Italian cake.

Its never too early to make a booking – check out the almond menu here.

We start with king prawns salad Trapanese, with basil, tomato and almonds knife cut pesto and fetta. With the prawns Giovanni our incredibly knowledgeable waiter suggests a Regaleali bianco.

Next is the casereccia pasta with seared swordfish, toasted almonds and diced tomatoes, white wine and extra virgin olive oil emulsion matched well with a Tereamanara Chardonnay. Then comes almond praline baked snapper fillet, served with pan tossed wilted cherry tomatoes and black sesame seeds – the snapper is perfect with a squeeze of lemon and washed down with a beautiful Catarratto Terre di Ginestra. It’s followed out by pan-fried almond crumbed pork cutlets, accompanied with oven roasted potatoes and a light Moscato wine reduction.

A Terre di Ginestra Nero D’Avola, the black devil, comes out with the pork chop. It has an incredible depth, fruitiness and richness and is a great pick for this juicy tender pork chop and potatoes draped with crispy bacon. Dessert is an almond marzipan coated Italian cake. Luckily I’m someone who likes both almonds and marzipan.

Feeling oddly stimulated we head out into Crown Street.

On the regular menu, if you are after something light for lunch, make sure you try their Sicilian blood orange salad with scallops dressed with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. For dinner, try the homemade gnocchi bug meat with cherry tomatoes and a hint of chili and garlic and the Double roasted duck maryland with blood orange graze served with eggplant and spinach millefoglie.

And do try their almond menu; frankly you’d be nuts to miss it.

Caffe Sicilia
+61 2 9699 8787
628 Crown Street
Surry Hills
Australia
[email protected]

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