Living within Sydney’s Inner West, there are plenty of Italian bakeries, cafes and restaurants to try and explore. There is a strong Italian (and Greek) influence within the Inner West of Sydney particularly within Haberfield and Leichhardt and today it is regarded as a foodie heaven.
There seems to be an endless array of foodie opportunities and on my doorstep I can enjoy the likes of Italian, Chinese, Thai, Indian; French, Vietnamese and Japanese just to name a few cuisines. For me, the Inner West is a paradise.
Tonight though we were craving Italian and went on the search for a new Italian restaurant yet to be explored. We soon stumbled across one in Russell Lea, Gigino which offers both take away and dine in options. I thought it was quite funny as Gigino is pretty much opposite Pizza Hut and another Italian Granata’s is only a few hundred metres down the road. Lots of local competition to compete with so I was hoping for something good.
It was around 8.30pm when we arrived at Gigino and there were a few groups of people already here. We had a table close to the patisserie counter and were soon eyeing up all the sweet delights including the tiramisu!
However, I was hungry and soon was reading through the menu trying to choose quickly to satisfy my hunger and stop my stomach from gurgling. Much of the menu is in Italian, but I had a general idea what most dishes were through the English explanations. During the week they have nightly in-house specials, of which Thursday’s dish was the Seafood. There were other specials on the special board, but I ended up going for the Salsiccia Pizza which comprised of pomodoro, mozzarella, pork sausages and mushrooms. These pizzas are traditional with only a few toppings on them which made my decision even harder as I quite like a variety of toppings on my pizza – the more the better so I wasn’t convinced this pizza would appeal.
My boyfriend went for the burger which was another special along with a portion of fries.
Our food took about 15 or so minutes to come out and we soon busied ourselves with chatter whilst enjoying a glass of red wine. Gigino has a number of tables and a bar area which serves a number of cocktails, spirits and plenty of wines. For those not drinking then there are soft drinks including Limonata and Ice Tea. Gigino is also BYO so feel free to bring your own bottle to enjoy over some authentic and home-cooked Italian cuisine.
Our food soon came out and my Salsiccia Pizza looked incredible and large in size. Although simple, the mushrooms looked very appetising and I was soon digging in. The mushrooms were full of flavour whilst the sausage was delicious. The base was thin and crispy and there was plenty of cheese and tomato sauce to ensure the pizza wasn’t too dry. Normally when I eat pizza I use my hands, but tonight I ended up using knife and fork on this occasion – perhaps so that I could slow down and fully appreciate the flavours even more.
My boyfriend soon devoured his burger and the chips were thin and crunchy and super tasty. As a testament to the excellent and rustic Italian food that was served, our plates were soon empty. A sign of enjoyment.
I was eyeing up the dessert list that was on the board in front of me and I was definitely tempted by the tiramisu. We decided on ordering two portions of tiramisu to take away and enjoy at home over Masterchef! These were served in glass screw top pots with a lid and had a good amount of booze and kick of coffee. I always find it bizarre that I love tiramisu but hate coffee. I have yet to enjoy a mouthful of coffee, but put it in this dessert and I love it. Maybe it’s the Marsala or similar liquor that is used that makes me enjoy this dessert even more!
Altogether it ended up costing approximately $85 for both of our meals, wine and tiramisu which didn’t seem too bad. We both thoroughly enjoyed the food at Gigino and the atmosphere was friendly and inviting with chalk boards on the walls for menu options. I loved the use of the white board which reminded me of a cinema with the name of each dish in black letters.
Thanks again Gigino, I’m sure we will be back!