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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Napoli in Bocca, Haberfield

It's 6.15pm on a Saturday and like most restaurants around Sydney at this time, Napoli in Bocca is fairly desserted. "Perfect", we think as we approach the maitre'd.

"Do you have a booking?" we're asked.

"Err... no."

"One moment please" he says as he scans his reservations book. "Hmmm... I can give you one-and-a-half hour only. Is that ok?" he proposes.

Holy mackerel. (Or should that be anchovy)

We nod quickly and he shows us to a table in the corner which we accept gratefully.

We're in Sydney's other Little Italy, Haberfield--home to woodfired pizza, patisseries and of course, Colefax chocolates.

With Leichhardt's proliferation of parking meters and upmarket gentrification, it seems like Haberfield is more popular than ever. By 7pm Napoli in Bocca is full of couples, families and noisy gatherings.

The restaurant is cosy and family-style low key with traditional red-and-white checked tablecloths, framed newspaper clippings on the wall and the tantalising aromas of freshly cooked seafood wafting past us every now and then.

Calamari Ripieni $16.90
Stuffed calamari with seafood, cooked in Napoletana sauce

Caprese salad $10.50
Bocconcini, tomato and basil

Scugnizzo $16.50
Tomato, mozzarella, ham and hot salami

4 Stagioni $17.00
Tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, olives, mushrooms and eggs

We shared the stuffed calamari, two pizzas and a bocconcini salad. The pizzas were light and fairly tasty although I prefer my bases a little less doughier and little more crisp (maybe the woodfire oven was still warming up for the night).

The stuffed calamari was absolutely divine though. A tender and delicate whole calamari was filled with a tasty seafood stuffing. The accompanying Napoletana sauce was also zingy with flavour and devoid of the usual excess oil. I could have happily hogged two of these for myself!

Ricotta cheesecake $6.50

Homemade tiramisu $6.50

Mixed gelato (coffee and vanilla) $6.50

Desserts were also well-received although it was funny how homestyle Italian presentation of desserts is eerily similar wherever you go. I don't necessarily need my food fancily presented, but a heavy-handed sprinkling of chocolate powder on the cheesecake did little to enhance it! :P

The cheesecake was light and airy, the gelato was surprisingly creamy and the tiramisu had quite a bit of kick to it too!

The food is fast, the atmosphere is casual and the kids in the restaurant all looked happy.

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Napoli in Bocca
73 Dalhousie Street, Haberfield
Tel: 02 9798 4096
12 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 3/02/2005 09:31:00 pm


  • At 3/03/2005 11:27 pm, Blogger santos. said…

    my mind tells me that the calamari is drowning in that tomato sauce, but that photo and your description makes me want two of them--NOW!!!!

  • At 3/04/2005 3:13 am, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Oooh...the pizza looks good! I'll take one slice to go!

  • At 3/04/2005 3:54 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    I am going straight into the gelato first!! :p

  • At 3/05/2005 1:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I second Reid. Gimme a slice each of the two pizzas, please.

  • At 3/05/2005 6:39 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    Donch you just hate it.. when ppl time you for eating..!!! i would be so stressed.. !!! but the food does look lovely though.. so i guess it was worth the stress.. hahah!! ;)
    Anything for good food.. as i always say.. ;)

  • At 3/05/2005 6:39 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    Donch you just hate it.. when ppl time you for eating..!!! i would be so stressed.. !!! but the food does look lovely though.. so i guess it was worth the stress.. hahah!! ;)
    Anything for good food.. as i always say.. ;)

  • At 4/16/2005 5:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hello there... my name is Allen Nguyen, and i'm from the U.S.. New Orleans, Louisiana to be exact... i study Culinary Arts, yes i'm a chef in the making. i love your blog, the pictures are great and it's very informative. i stumbled upon your page while attempting to google "bills". i am dying to visit Australia. i just wanted compliment your work.. kudos to you!


    take care!

  • At 6/18/2007 9:33 am, Blogger JtotheK said…

    I was down there on Saturday night with my wife.

    The place was very busy and we decided to have some salad and some garlic bread for starters. It comes out and we were like Woah!!! It's a whole pizza with garlic. We then got our mains and were like... Woah!!! That's a slab of Lasagna (beautiful). I had the Calzone...woah!!

    There was no skimming on the potion sizes. We had to take some home as we could not finish.

    We have been here a couple of times before and the service is ok, but the food is definitely always wonderful.

  • At 9/09/2008 10:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great food!! Just annoying that they don't have an answering machine in today's society!!

  • At 9/11/2008 9:30 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi JtotheK - Sounds like a great feed!

    Hi Anon - lol. I rarely leave messages anyway - much prefer to speak direct to someone and get a booking confirmed asap :)

  • At 11/04/2009 4:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    best pizzas in sydney hands down just ask for the the calzone or 4 cheeses can't remember what it is called ??

  • At 11/06/2009 11:03 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Mmm four cheeses sounds great :)


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