Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sale Pepe Pizzeria in Sydney

I ended my Sydney food sojourn in a pizza joint. Peter was my gracious host for the last 4 days of my stay. For my bye-bye dinner, he took me to an Italian place. It was the Sale Pepe Pizzeria on Sydney Road in Seaforth, in the northern suburb of Sydney. 

It was a small modest place; but was bright and cheerfully furnished. Like a lot of Aussie restaurants, the kitchen and service counter took up a big part of the shop, leaving a rather limited space for customers dining. 

They had a small wood fire oven in which they make their pizza and bread. I guess it has to be wood to give the bread that flavour.

We made our selection and then settled down to sip red wine and nibble on pickled olives.

There wasn't a lot of crowd. Still we had to wait for quite a long while. That was because they had a lot of delivery and takeaway business. The waitress sensing our unease came over to apologise. Later she brought us a plate of focaccia - compliments of the house - as compensation. It was a very nice gesture indeed.

The focaccia was superb. There were sprinklings of herbs on the top. Freshly baked, it tasted absolutely wonderful. Before we could finish the bread, our dishes started to arrive. First on the table was the rocket salad. In the rocket were slices of pear with crushed walnuts and shaved parmesan. It was served in a lemon and olive oil dressing. I enjoyed the aromatic rocket. The walnuts made it particularly good.

We shared a plate of pasta. It was penne, stir fried in olive oil with prawns and zucchini, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. The flavour, to me, was just so-so. It did not wow me. But the penne had a very nice springy texture.

Peter ordered 2 large pizzas. The first was the napoletana. It had prawn, squid and zucchini, in a rich tomato sauce topped with fresh rockets. The bread was a delicious thin crust. The flavour was excellent. I liked the taste of the fresh rocket with the pizza. 

Next was the meat lover. Indeed it was totally meat. It had beef pepperoni, bacon and minced meat in a tomato and mozzarella sauce - on the same crusty bread. It was awesome. The flavour and aroma of the bacon complemented the pizza beautifully. 

It was a hefty and fulfilling meal for the four of us. The Italian essence in this small Aussie joint was very authentic. I enjoyed my final evening in Sydney. Next day, I boarded a MAS airplane and returned home.

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