Unlimited pizza and pasta at dinner for $20 sounds too good to be true, but it is the modus operandi at the hidden Pizza Autentico just off Oxford Street in Surry Hills (even cheaper at lunch apparently – $15!). The only catches are that you need to down it all within 90 minutes and also it is at the chef’s discretion which pizzas and pastas will be served.
There’s a strong industrial/warehouse vibe throughout the interior with the large communal polished concrete table as the centrepiece, where the wait staff will regularly come around to serve you a slice of pizza or a scoop of pasta from the shared platter or bowl.
We were admittedly a bit sceptical as to how the concept would work, as we expected the wait staff to take their time serving the dishes to pad out the 90 minute period. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that usually we were still in the process of finishing our previous dish, when the next round of dishes would be coming around.
The meal got off to a bit of a rough start for us though, with the complimentary bread for starters tasting a bit undercooked and the first pizza (Siciliana) was much too salty for our tastes due to the anchovies and olives. But things definitely improved from there, and we were quite happy with the flavours of the rest of the pizzas and pastas that came our way.
For the thin crust pizzas, special mentions go to the Al Funghi (creamy tasting button mushrooms with tomato base) and Di Marcello Pomodoro (the simple but flavoursome pizza with buffalo mozzarella with juicy cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan and basil).
Al Funghi (please excuse the dirty plate!)
Di Marcello Pomodoro
In terms of the pastas, we enjoyed the two spicy pastas the most – the Rigatoni N’Duja which was billed as coming with spicy sausage (although we didn’t discern any actual sausage pieces in the pasta) and also the Penne Arrabbiata which features a Napoli sauce with chilli (plenty of it, our tongues were burning in a good way after eating this pasta!) that is not for the faint-hearted. The Trofie Pesto was a lighter change from the spicy pastas.
The biggest surprise of the evening were the delightful dessert tasters, which are quirkily served in macchiato glasses. It was hard to decide which was more heavenly – the silky pannacotta with a generous layer of honey and walnuts (a winning combo in my books) or the delectable chocolate mousse, which was light as air but still strongly flavoured with cocoa.
Pannacotta and Chocolate Mousse $4.50 each
Admittedly, it’s a bit hard to find Pizza Autentico as it’s off the beaten path in a side alley of Surry Hills, but it’s great value for the quality of the food and perfect for groups as everyone pays one set amount and there’s no time wasted deciding on what to order – it’s all up to the chef!
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Pizza Autentico
15 Brisbane Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9267 9992