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Monday, November 18, 2013

Buon Ricordo, Paddington

Truffle egg pasta at Buon Ricordo, Paddington

Does this pasta need an introduction? Oh, ok then. Truffled egg pasta from Buon Ricordo, pleased to eat you. 

This dish has been on my bucket list forever. Birthday celebrations gave me the perfect excuse to finally tick it off the list - with a merry crew of friends of course.

Dining room at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Buon Ricordo dining room

It doesn't get much more old skool than Buon Ricordo. The restaurant may have opened in 1987 but the waiters in crisp white jackets, the floral print chairs, and the classic dishes on the menu feel like a step back in time.

Fresh parmesan grated over the truffle egg pasta at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Grating fresh parmesan onto the truffled egg

The truffled egg pasta would have to be Buon Ricordo's most famous dish. It arrives at the table wafting with truffle oil, a huddle of housemade fettucine crowned with a fried egg. You might score a double yolker if you're lucky.

Tossing the truffle egg fettuccine at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Tossing the truffled egg and parmesan through the fettuccine at the table

The theatre of this dish is half the fun. The white-coated waiters (and there are only males on the floor tonight) scoot to your side and make a great show in shaving fresh parmesan cheese all over your dish. Then it's all tossed together with much seriousness, the pasta strands mixing in with the cream, the cheese and the runny egg yolk into a delicious mess on your plate.

Truffle egg fettuccine at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Truffled egg fettuccine with cream and parmesan $35.50

Whoah. One mouthful of this dish and it feels like a thousand calories just invaded your arteries. Maybe more. It's one of the richest dishes I've ever eaten, the fettuccine strands enveloped in a dense coating of cream, cheese and egg yolk laced with truffle.

Even shared between two, I struggle to finish my half. But then I'd already shared in gamberetti fried school prawns, crudites with bagna cauda and two fat slices of fluffy sourdough bread. Ahem.

Fagottini pork and veal sausage at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Fagottini pork and veal sausage with parmesan and truffle egg $32

I stake a claim in another entree. The fagottini pork and veal sausages are superbly plump and juicy, bound with parmesan and more truffled egg.

Penne pasta with rock cod and tomato at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Penne with rock cod, tomato, garlic and parsley $33.50

There are simpler pastas too. The penne with rock cod and tomato reminds us of bacalao dried and salted cod. Heartier fare includes the pappardelle ragout ($34) with pork, beef, tomato and ricotta.

Crumbed veal rolled with spinach, nutmeg and parmesan at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Braciolette reginaldo crumbed veal rolled with spinach, nutmeg and parmesan $42.50

Between us we manage to order all the meat dishes, not all pictured as the dining room lighting is not the kindest for food photos (the outrage!). The grilled butterflied quail ($44.50) is impressively tender, its charred sweet skin played off against crunchy pistachio, radicchio, grapes and raspberry vincotto. Milly Hill baby lamb cutlets ($45.50) are also fine, cooked to a tantalising softness.

The braciolette reginaldo is another classic dish, thin slices of veal rolled with spinach, nutmeg and parmesan, then crumbed and deep-fried.

Tournedo rossini aged Black Angus beef with foie gras and Madeira sauce at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Tournedos rossini $56.60
Aged Black Angus beef (150 days grain fed) wrapped in pancetta with foie gras and Madeira sauce 

I splurge on the most expensive dish on the menu: the tournedos rossini. Do it. It's worth every mouthful. Cutting this meat is like slicing through butter.

The disc of filet mignon (cooked to a perfect medium rare as requested) is about as luxurious as you can get, and that's before you combine it with the slice of foie gras sitting on top.

The Madeira sauce is also a highlight, rich and smooth with a hint of sweetness.

Roasted potatoes and beans at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Roasted potatoes and beans (included as sides to mains)

Cannellini beans at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Fagioli alla Toscana cannellini beans with extra virgin olive oil $9

Mille mele thousand layers of apples dessert at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Mille mele $21
A 'thousand' layers of apple slices baked with sugar served with ginger cream

We order one of everything off the dessert menu too. The mille mele is a staggering construction of microscopically thin layers of sweet baked apple.

Torta mascarpone at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Torta mascarpone $21 
Baked mascarpone, savoiardi and liqueur cherries with a meringue topping

The torta mascarpone is lusciously boozy, a roof of baked meringue hiding a core of savoiardi biscuits, mascarpone and liqueur cherries.

Almond and chocolate torte at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Cioccolato tortino $21
Almond and chocolate torte with amaretto ganache and chocolate sorbet

Chocaholics will find plenty to cheer about with the dense and squidgy almond and chocolate torte, paired with scoops of chocolate sorbet and amaretto ganache.

Nougat semifreddo at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Semifreddo al torrone $21
Nougat semifreddo on a pistachio scented cream served with candied fruit

Orange tart at Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Crostata d'arance $21
Orange tart with candied citrus and vanilla ice cream

Lighter desserts include the nougat semifreddo and the orange tart, the latter of which may be presented as a surrogate birthday cake with a lit candle and tanti auguri (best wishes in Italian) piped in chocolate across the top.

And it's always a lovely touch when the head chef comes out for a wander among the tables too. Owner Armando Percuoco smiles and bobs his head as he asks every table if they enjoyed their meal. Food may come in and out of fashion but old fashioned service is timeless.

Buon Ricordo, Paddington

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Buon Ricordo
108 Boundary Street, Paddington, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9360 6729

Opening hours:
Lunch Friday and Saturday from 12pm
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/18/2013 02:35:00 am


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