Don’t be late to Assembly.
Hidden behind the garish strip of fast food outlets on George Street is Italian eatery, Assembly Restaurant. Joining the likes of Miss Chu and Chefs Gallery in the Regent Place Mall, the restaurant has a Melbourne alley style vibe, with dark wooden tables and plant-filled walls. The windowless interior is atmospheric in the evening, although a little dark and secluded by day. Nevertheless it’s a welcome addition to the Town Hall side of Sydney’s CBD, one we recommend adding to your foodie list.
On our visit we started with an El Pasaporte cocktail courtesy of sister venue Assembly Bar, located just opposite. The original bar venue has gained a name for itself since it opened in 2014 and on a Tuesday evening it was buzzing with a cocktail-sipping-post-work crowd. Although conveniently located only meters away from the Bar, the Assembly Restaurant recently gained its own liquor license and has gone to town with an extensive Italian and Australian wine list.
We started our meal with a classic burrata salad. The dish was a true sampling of the authentic Italian menu created by chef Nick Pulcher (formerly of Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta). The burrata cheese oozed onto the ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, and went well with the generous bread basket served with olive oil and balsamic.
Deep-fried Sicilian olives stuffed with mozzarella fior di latte ($7) came next, followed shortly by crispy fried zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and basil ($5) and tuna pate with mixed marinated olives ($12). The Zucchini flowers were a standout and the tuna pate was an interesting twist on a classic dish.
Next we sampled one of the housemade pastas, a black squid ink tagliolini sautéed with wild spanner crab, king prawns, baby tomatoes ($28). The dish looked beautiful, but the tagliolini was lacking in flavour. If pasta is what you’re after, the ragu tagliatelle is a great choice.
You can’t go wrong with wood fire pizza at Assembly Restaurant. Their pizza dough takes a minimum of 48 hours to make and tastes great. We tucked into the ‘Tartufata’ with mozzarella di bufala, truffle cream, prosciutto di parma, shaved parmesan and truffle oil. We also tried the classic ‘Margherita’. Priced mainly between $23-$30 the pizzas are worth the money and full of flavour.
Roasted carrots and green pea puree accompanied succulent, grilled lamb cutlets ($33) for those after something other than pizza and pasta.
As a finale, we rounded off the evening with a light and fruity Panna Cotta made with greek yoghurt and served with fresh berries ($12). The dessert menu also includes house-made cannoli filled with ricotta and a selection of gelato by Darlinghurst local, RivaRena Gelato.
If you have finished work in the city and you’re craving a good pizza, buzzing atmosphere and a great wine list be sure to check out Assembly Restaurant.
488 Kent Street, Sydney
(02) 9261 0552
Open daily 12pm-late.