One of the great things about living in the Inner West of Sydney is the wonderful array of cuisines right on our doorstep. It’s been a while since we have been out for Italian and there’s only one place where we were heading tonight and that was Haberfield – a true slice of Little Italy!
One of our favourite Italian restaurants in Haberfield is Il Goloso, a family run Italian restaurant situated within the iconic and heritage building of Haberfield Post along Dalhousie Street.
Officially opening on May 30 2008, Il Goloso is as popular today as it was when it first opened. Not only will you find high quality homemade Italian food, but the prices are very family-friendly too.
This was the third time I have dined here with my boyfriend and the food and service never disappoints. Il Goloso is a casual restaurant with a particular focus on attracting families with children. When we arrived here Friday night around 6.30pm, it was already bustling with activity with the majority of diners being families so it was quite loud, but still had a relaxed atmosphere with intimate tables.
We were shown to a table in the centre of the room and provided with menus and tap water. Il Goloso keeps its menu simple and authentic with Italian favourites including Pizza Rosse and Pizza Bianche and a variety of pasta dishes as well as some meat and fish dishes. There are several specials boards as well and tonight’s special included two types of ravioli, lamb ravioli and barramundi ravioli, whilst you can also design your own pasta dish from a choice of pastas with a venison or lamb ragu or a sauce from the main menu.
Tonight my indecisiveness was clearly evident as I simply could not decide what to have – it all sounded so good! In the end I narrowed down the choices to either one of the specials or the lasagne. I eventually went for the lasagne ($18) as I was craving this wholesome pasta sheet dish. My boyfriend went for the venison pasta dish and we also shared a Tomato Bruschetta ($17).
Il Goloso is also a BYO restaurant with a $2 corkage fee, but tonight I just ordered a Ginger Beer, whilst my boyfriend had a glass of wine and a Peroni Reserva which is a 500ml bottle in a classy black bottle and tasted of the hops.
Il Goloso has seating both inside and outside, but tonight all the diners were sat within the main restaurant. Whilst we were waiting, I could watch the pizzas being made from scratch and this restaurant also does pick up and takeaway, with many people coming and going with their pickup orders.
It wasn’t long until our Tomato Bruschetta arrived and this was presented on a wooden paddle board. Not only did the Bruschetta look extremely appetising, we could immediately smell the garlic and fresh basil which heightened our senses. This was a good portion size, almost like a mini pizza with plenty of tomato toppings and good use of olive oil. Needless to say we devoured the lot quite easily! The dough was soft like a pizza, and was quite wet due to the tomatoes and olive oil, but it was very moreish to eat and not too wet to handle. The Bruschetta was also cut into easy to eat pieces allowing us to dig in with our hands!
Once finished our waiter soon cleared our table of plates and provided us with much needed new paper napkins and new cutlery. A little while later our mains soon arrived and were served in round black bowl-like plates. Both my lasagne and my boyfriend’s pasta dish were large portion sizes and we had some extra black pepper and parmesan cheese on top with some chilli, which was surprisingly spicy and had a good kick to it!
My lasagne was a ham lasagne, rather than a mince lasagne that I am accustomed to, but it was still a delight to eat with three or four layers of egg pasta and plenty of béchamel and Bolognese sauce and cheese on top. It was a very wholesome dish and pretty filling, perfect to warm up on this chilly Winter’s night. My boyfriend’s pasta dish was just as good with tender pieces of lamb in a rich ragu sauce with beautiful handmade tagliatelle pasta.
I was pretty full by the end of our meal, but we did end up looking at the dessert menu and my boyfriend had the chocolate mousse with a Piccolo coffee. For the sake of my ever-growing stomach I decided to decline on dessert, but some of the Italian desserts include Tiramisu which I would have had if I wasn’t so stuffed!
Il Goloso’s prices are very reasonable and also good portion sizes. The service is very friendly and attentive with Italian waiters and chefs.
The Il Goloso restaurant itself is very easy to find – look out for heritage building which dates back to 1914. There is plenty of free parking on the street outside, or along one of the residential side streets. If you come by public transport then the bus stops are just a few minutes’ walk away.
Overall, we had a wonderful meal, despite the noise from the young children beside us. Make sure you try out Il Goloso the next time you are in Haberfield or when you fancy an authentic Italian dinner. Open for dinner seven days a week from 6pm and 12pm – 4pm Friday to Sunday for lunch, there’s plenty of opportunity to dine here!