Three words have changed the exterior side arm of Broadway shopping centre from Place To Hail A Cab While Holding Fifty Bags Of Groceries to Place To Get A Pizza And Have A Fun Time Doing It. Those words, my friends, are Salt, Meats, Cheese. And it looks like all of the inner west's fringe dwellers know about it, too.
Friday night sees a packed room, a DJ in the back corner (a space that could very easily take up another table, really, but ours is not to judge when it comes to unmemorable house music played off a laptop in a busy Italian restaurant) and wait staff moving a million miles an hour, seamlessly navigating between narrowly spaced tables, laden with food.
So with that in mind, it pays to roll with the punches. Eating here is kind of a kamikaze affair where you order-and-pay-at-the-counter and hope for the best. It's a pretty extensive menu on offer – a grab bag of burgers with an Italo-twist, pasta, polenta. But it's easy enough to skip most of it altogether.
Mixed arancini are somehow simultaneously chalky, gooey and gummy which, when you think about it, is quite an achievement.
An antipasto plate, one of the few things on the menu that's even vaguely vegetarian friendly (just turn the prosciutto to face the wall, or throw a napkin over it), is a pretty straight selection of roast pumpkin, buffalo mozzarella, olives, and "Italian" hummus (I wonder what magical ingredient transforms it into such a specific chickpea dip?)
Best to head straight for the pizza instead. You certainly won't find a better one between here and Gigi in Newtown.
The buffalo – your classic margherita on a scorched base with large rounds of fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil – is a pretty good example of the genre.
A calzone special of fior di latte, Italian sausage and Brussels sprout leaves may have turned up as a regular pizza ("It's an open calzone" argues the waiter. So … it's a ... pizza? "Yes") but the mix of bitter cruciferous, the sweet richness of the sausage and the lick of char on the chewy pizza base really works.
We roll with it.
Pro Tip: Live close by? They also deliver