[This restaurant has since closed]
One of my colleagues told me that she recently went to the best Italian restaurant of her life for her anniversary and that I had to make a trip there. Apparently they do unconventional flavours including chocolate pasta and spinach ice cream and on that note, I knew I needed to check it out.
Trattoria Il Segreto is located at Brookvale, an area of Sydney I am not familiar with. It is located on the main road and on a Sunday night, there is not much life and it appears to be one of few open restaurants in the area. Upon walking in, I notice a wall featuring an interesting back story of the owner and head chef. The owner used to be a professional bodybuilder who was a former Mr. Italy and when he came to Sydney and couldn’t find a job, he decided to open his own restaurant.
Tonight we order some dishes off the menu but most are ‘specials of the day’ as recommended by the chef. He rattles off the names and descriptions quite quickly and it’s a bit hard to catch them all. From memory, all the mains were in the latter $20-$30 range, with the dessert in the $10 range.
Spaghetti del Pescatore – $29
Our first main that arrives is the spaghetti. It is scattered with fresh seafood including prawns, mussels, calamari and fish fillets and is cooked in a strong tomato base which complements the seafood well. I find the spaghetti is light and al dente and although it looks like the eggy spaghetti we received at Parma, it tastes delicious and not like egg noodles at all.
Gnocchi of the day – $24
Next up is the gnocchi of the day which is beetroot based. It is the BEST gnocchi I have ever had. It is soft, pillowy and melts in your mouth but is still firm enough to pick up. The best way to describe its consistency is like a potato mash with a firm-ish exterior. The flavour is also interesting; there’s hints of butter, cheese and basil and I suppose there is beetroot but it is not obvious. Whatever the beetroot was manipulated into to make this gnocchi, it is perfection.
Risotto del Giorno Pork with Cinnamon – $30
Not long after arrives the risotto served with pork meatballs. It is not too gluggy and the meatballs are also small but plentiful. The risotto is cooked with cinnamon and I had my doubts that this combination would work but it does. The rice has soaked up plenty of flavours leaving it very creamy.
Ravioli of the day
Our last main of the day is a chocolate ravioli with a carrot filling. Supposedly sweet and savoury, the ravioli itself doesn’t taste of chocolate but the chocolate has left the pasta very soft and delicate. The carrot filling is mushy and complimentary with the burnt butter and basil flavours.
Dessert of the day
To top it all off, we get the dessert of the day which consists of 3 home-made ice cream flavours; beetroot, spinach and marsala. The beetroot tastes like lemon myrtle and has small bits of shaven beetroot woven within it. The spinach tastes like mint with small bits of the green leafy vegie inside. And the marsala tastes like orange and moscato wine, containing some sultanas inside. I find the beetroot flavour is the most appealing but my friend prefers the spinach.
Overall, Trattoria Il Segreto is definitely one of the better and most unconventional Italian restaurants I have been to. They serve up Italian classics but with modern twists in all the flavours. All the foods here are also hand made by the owner and chef so you know that your food is prepared with care. If you’re looking for lasagne and spaghetti bolognese, this is not the place to go, but if you want high class food with innovative flavours without the prices of hatted restaurants, Trattoria Il Segreto is the perfect place to start.
Trattoria Il Segreto
515 Pittwater Road Brookvale NSW 2100
Ph: (02) 9939 4933
[This restaurant has since closed]