The Sawmill brings homestyle Italian to the burbs.
Us Sydneysiders have had a long love affair with Italian food – Fragrant Napoletana sauce, comforting lasagna, hand-stretched pizza, creamy cannoli’s… Sorry, where were we going with that? To a quiet street in West Pymble where a new café and restaurant named The Sawmill is serving regional Italian cuisine from what feels like your families dining room.
The Sawmill is the passion project of brothers Rocco and John Mammone, who transformed a modest shop-front into a warm and inviting Italian eatery. The concept and design of The Sawmill pays homage to the area’s historic role in timber production. Dating back to 1805 when the first sawmill was established in the area, Pymble provided sought-after stands of blue gum, mahogany, blackbutt and turpentine to the early Sydney colony.
The suburbs industrial history is reflected in the sleek design of the venue through recycled timber panels, exposed brick walls, light bulb pendants and concrete floors.
Head Chef Ruben Castellaz (formerly Fratelli Fresh) is cooking up a mixture of modern and traditional dishes, resulting in a well-rounded menu. The Sawmill is a café-restaurant-pizzeria-bar hybrid and the flavour profiles of the food change throughout the day.
The breakfast menu reflects true Sydney café culture, serving up dishes like pancakes with apple and blueberry compote ($15), a halloumi stack with grilled vegetables ($22), and eggs benedict with wilted spinach and hollandaise sauce ($18).
Lunch becomes an indulgent combination of modern pub-grub and classic Italian cuisine with dishes like the Sawmill Burger with a beef patty and truffle chive chips ($20), John Dory battered fish and chips ($22), and the roast vegetable pasta with Napoletana sauce ($22).
The dinner selection is where your taste buds will take a trip around the regions of Italy. Parmigiana Di Melanzane aka sliced eggplant with Napoletana sauce ($16), house made gnocchi with smoked Scarmoza ($24), and a slow-cooked osso bucco with pancetta ($32) are just a few of the mouthwatering options diners have when the sun goes down.
The staff are friendly and double as Italian food-guides, and you can watch the pizzas being stretched and tossed in the open wood-fired oven space. There’s eleven classic pizzas on offer, because what’s an Italian restaurant without pizza? Incomplete.
You’ll want to make room for dessert to sample some of Pastry Chef (and opera singer) Rocco Speranza’s creations. This chocolate-heavy selection of desserts is modern and innovative, offering sweet zippoli Italian donuts with Nutella ($16), sticky date pudding with salted caramel gelato ($18) and more to leave a sweet taste in your mouth.
Before you leave make sure you grab a drink at the bar which offers a curated wine list, signature cocktails and all the beers your heart desires on tap. The venue also provides a catering service and is an ideal space to host small or large events such as a birthday or Christmas party.
7 Duneba Avenue, West Pymble
Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun – Closed Tuesdays
See website for breakfast, lunch and dinner opening hours.
(02) 9498 6565