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Monday, November 22, 2010

Signorelli Gastronomia, Pyrmont

Let there be pig.

It was my birthday last week and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than with a whole porchetta.

I'd spied this dish on my last visit to Signorelli Gastronomia and had vowed to return. The pig, I swore, would be mine someday.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than with dear friends and good food.

Seared tuna with orange

We started with an amuse bouche of seared tuna served on porcelain spoons with orange segments, a delicate and refreshing mouthful that awakened the palate.

Mac's Sassy Red amber ale $7

A few of us had met for pre-dinner drinks, and after a glass of sangria and a shot of cachaça, I stuck with beer to accompany dinner. Mac's Sassy Red is an award-winning amber ale from New Zealand, and I relished its malty nuttiness.

Wagyu bresaola $5.50/20 grams (a la carte)

When I'd made an initial group booking enquiry two months ago, I was misquoted on the price per person for porchetta, antipasto and pizza. Commendably, this quote was upheld ($50pp) even though the porchetta with vegetables alone is currently priced at $55pp.

Capocollo $3/20 grams (a la carte)

Making the pizzas

Perhaps one of my favourite things about Signorelli Gastronomia is the immediacy of the pizza kitchen and the deli counter. Regardless of where you sit, there is something interesting to look at, whether it be the walk-in wine room, walk-in cheese room, shelves of neatly stacked gourmet groceries, a grand antique cash register or ones of the chefs expertly tossing a disc of pizza dough in the air.

Margherita pizza $19.50 (a la carte)

The pizzas here are cooked in a wood-fired stone oven, the bases crisp yet still pliable, and topped modestly in the traditional Italian style. Margherita pizza is fresh and simple with cheese, tomato and basil; the Prosciutto di Parma is a luscious combination of prosciutto, ricotta, provolone cheese and wild rocket.

Prosciutto di Parma pizza $22.50 (a la carte)

Garlic pizza $19.50

To my surprise, the garlic pizza is my outright favourite, stretchy with molten mozzarella, sweet with garlic and doused with plenty of zingy lemon juice.


The pig is the main event, and conversation stops as soon as the porchetta is spotted leaving the main kitchen.

Crackling ahoy

It's an impressive sight. The pig, we're told, weighed 9.5kg before it was deboned of its ribcage, and then rolled up again with pork neck, garlic, pepper and herbs. The chef says his name was Trevor (!!).

Carving the porchetta

Nearing the pig's head

Pig on a plate (one of three plates)

"The pig's head is for the birthday girl!" staff declare. What they don't realise is that everyone is keen for some pig head action, with an ear broken off here, and a cheek scooped out there.

Meanwhile I am far too busy enjoying an entire pork trotter, resplendent with crackling, if a tad salty. John and I share the snout - half each - a delicious crunchy treat.

Mixed leaf salad and brussel sprouts

Everyone digging in

A 9.5kg pig yields an incredible amount of meat. We get through only about half of it - the remainder packed up into the best kind of party bag one could hope for. The pork is tender, although I would have preferred larger slices so the meat didn't shred as much, and the stuffing imparts quite a strong herby flavour to the delicate flesh.

Complimentary birthday dessert

Staff surprise me with a complimentary birthday dessert, a slice of warm chocolate cake that has the sweet crust of a brownie. It's plated very prettily with flowers and candied walnut pieces, and a shard of white chocolate encrusted with popping candy.

The Hungry Caterpillar cake by chocolatesuze

Later that evening chocolatesuze unveils her secret birthday cake - a Hungry Caterpillar cake made with cupcakes! One of my favourite books as a kid, I even have a t-shirt depicting this loveable creature with the notoriously voracious appetite.

My favourite feature was his legs, made from licorice and speared with toothpicks.

Thanks everyone for a fantastic birthday, and special appreciation to you, Trevor. Oink! Oink!

View Larger Map
Signorelli Gastronomia on Urbanspoon
Accenture building - ground floor
Trouton Place, 48 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8571 0616

Trattoria opening hours
Lunch: Monday to Saturday 12pm-3pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
Dinner: Thursday to Saturday 6pm-9.30pm

The whole porchetta comes with vegetable sides and must be ordered 48 hours in advance. It costs $55 per person (minimum six people) as at November 2010.

Store opening hours:
Monday to Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 10am-4pm
Sunday 12pm-4pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:

Pyrmont - 1945 (Dutch Indonesian)
Pyrmont - Sean's Kitchen (Modern Australian)
23 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/22/2010 02:05:00 am


  • At 11/22/2010 8:18 am, Blogger Shanks said…

    Happy Birthday Helen!! Looks like a fantastic feast to celebrate the occasion, and at the expense of Trevor -oink!!

  • At 11/22/2010 8:42 am, Anonymous pigflyin said…

    Happy Birthday again Helen! what a fantastic way to celebrate! The pizza definitely look like something special. Thin and proper looking.

    The hungry Caterpillar bday cake is just the CUTEST! Way to go Suze. So appropriate for the birthday girl.

    Happy birthday Oink Oink!

  • At 11/22/2010 8:53 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    It's your bithday and you'll have snout if you want to! Happy Birthday sexy lady!

  • At 11/22/2010 9:22 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    happy birthdaaaay tooooo youuuuu! glad you had a porktastic time!

  • At 11/22/2010 9:41 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    OMGOSH Suze's cupcake is so adorbs IT'S SO CUTE I COULD DIE.

    Honestly anything involving garlic thin pizza and prosciutto ricotta goodness is guaranteed awesome. Glad you had a stellar birthday Helen!! Here's to many more gastronomic birthdays to come :))


  • At 11/22/2010 9:51 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Oh Trevor you really were delicious :D, I'd eat suckling pig for your bday anyway Helen!

  • At 11/22/2010 10:20 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    What a fab way to celebrate...! Happy birthday, Helen.

  • At 11/22/2010 10:43 am, Blogger Laura said…

    happy birthday helen

  • At 11/22/2010 10:59 am, Anonymous Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Oh how delicious was Trevor! Was sad to bail early and now even sadder that I missed out on Suze's gorgeous hungry caterpillar cupcake cake, sooo cute!!

    Glad you had a piggielicious birthday!

  • At 11/22/2010 12:40 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I wish I could've been there to celebrate the magnificence of you too, my dear kaya-giving friend! Though you probably would have been cranky with me there, as I would've stolen all the Brussels sprouts.

    Happy, happy birthday Helen. I hope it was the most happy of nights, and I can't wait to meet up with you again soon!

  • At 11/22/2010 1:47 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Good food with great friends (such as your dear self) is the best, huh? I wouldn't want to spend my birthday any other way! Glad I could be a part of yours :)

    I wonder how long the word association with Trevor and awesomely sweet and succulent pork will stick...

  • At 11/22/2010 4:04 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    pork looks amazing!!! no Billy? happy birthday :-)

  • At 11/22/2010 6:58 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Happy birthday again! And thank you for letting me share Trevor with you =)

  • At 11/22/2010 8:19 pm, Anonymous FoodieChat said…

    Happy Birthday! Oh, you're brave, I don't like seeing "Face" on my meat! hehehe. Poor little piggy! I'm a pretty wussy food blogger hehehe :)r

  • At 11/22/2010 8:27 pm, Anonymous Jasmyne @ JasmyneTea said…

    I remember the Hungry Caterpillar!

    Trevor looks too cute! No way I could have eaten him, not after knowing his name. Still, I bet he was delicious!

    Great post :) Happy birthday!

  • At 11/22/2010 10:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh Trevor was sooo tasty! Hope you had an awesome party ^^! I shall we must get you drunk next time though

  • At 11/23/2010 12:22 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Happy birthday Helen. I couldn't think of anything better to eat on a birthday than a whole suckling pig. Also love the caterpillar cake!

  • At 11/23/2010 12:05 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    Looks like you had a great birthday with Trevor! The cake is awesome as well, I can never get enough of the very hungry caterpillar!

  • At 11/23/2010 2:36 pm, Blogger susan said…

    Happy Birthday! What a great way to spend it. Poor trevor though, he would have been so cute :(

  • At 11/23/2010 8:28 pm, Anonymous Ana said…

    Happy Birthday! Looks like a great night. Love the Very Hungry Caterpillar cake....it's beautiful. Helen, check out all the Very Hungry Caterpillar stuff on the Peter's of Kensington site....it's great.

    PS.....Have you been to Windows cafe on Chapel St South at Bankstown yet? Opposite bankstown Girls' High School, on the corner of Brandon t. It's new...the best ca phe sua da outside Vietnam, and great sticky rice, green tea, black sesame and taro ice creams (amongst others). Only just found it recently and it's lovely.

  • At 11/24/2010 3:34 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Happy Birthday "doyenne" of the food blogging community (I know that might rev you up a bit!...LOL!) looked like a fantastic night of feasting...pizza and pork? I don't think it could get any better!

  • At 11/24/2010 12:21 pm, Anonymous Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    Trevor was so tasty! Hope you had a great birthday :))

  • At 11/26/2010 11:49 pm, Anonymous Su-Lin said…

    What a fabulous birthday dinner! Happy belated birthday!


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