We often forget to look outside the concentration of restaurants that Sydney has on offer, tending to dine around the CBD and surrounds. But Candelori's is testament to good Italian cuisine worth venturing out of the city for.
The restaurant opened in 1999 and is the fourth successful restaurant venture for the Candelori Family - having run restaurants for the past 35 years.
|Just before the Friday dinner rush|
We started the evening with Suckling Pig Croquettes. They arrived served with fresh herbs, sea salt and lime aioli.
|Suckling Pig Croquettes (3) $16|
Next, we decided to design our own Maialino Board with local Sydney Wagyu bresaola and truffle salami, mozarella di bufala, Candelori's own crumbed stuffed green olives and aged buffalo parmigiano from Parma in Italy.
Everything was fresh and delicious. The feta stuffed olives were just a tad too salty for me but very delicious nonetheless.
The next dish we tried was the Smoked Duck Breast Salad ( $29)
A generous salad packed with fresh wedges of sweet fig, perfectly smoked tender duck breast, beetroot, baby leaves, crisp radish and roasted hazelnuts. Definitely my kind of salad. Even if I had visited and only tried this salad, I would have left completely satisfied. An absolute gem, and something I could eat every day.
If its pizza or pasta you are after, Candelori's staff were quick to point out to us that they do offer gluten free versions of both. And by the look of dishes that continued to flow out from the pass, we will be heading back this Summer.
By this stage we were rather full but Mr Candelori insisted we sample the new dessert menu. Being a little apprehensive about how I would react to 'all that sugar', we sampled a taste of each and were pleasantly surprised by the balance of each of the desserts on offer.
|Art on a plate - The New Dessert Menu @ Candelori's|
For those of you who wish to indulge - all of the desserts were pretty amazing.
Baked meringue ( main above) was impressive. Baked for 12 hours, the meringue shell is filled with poached pear, rhubarb and fresh cream and finished off with a dusting of lemon sherbet powder.
The chocolate mousse ( top right) was dark and rich, yet balanced by a zingy passionfruit curd in the centre.
The Italian version of the creme brulee was probably the least sweet of all the desserts -despite the crackly glass sugar top. The custard was a creamy pistachio creme served with mandarin sorbet which added the most sweetness to the dish. The crostoli looked nice but was a little lost on the plate.
If semi freddo is your thing, then Candelori's choc-orange version will impress. I loved the freeze dried blood orange segments on top. The semi freddo itself was fairly sweet but was good in that it didnt exhibit any of the nasty freezer crystals that can often plague this dessert. A very good version indeed. The textural elements of this dessert were spot on.
The San Valentino ( Bottom right) was simply stunning. White chocolate mousse with raspberry jelly and biscotti. Whilst, a visually stunning summer dessert, I would suggest you share this one though as it is rather sweet.
My favourite of the night, however, was from the Special's menu - A creamy ( not overly sweet) pannacotta style disc ( second from top right) topped with lime, fig and poached pear. It was truly divine. All the flavours worked exceptionally well together and the dessert was not overly sweet. A true indulgence. If you visit and it's on the specials menu make sure you try it.
We had a great evening at Candelori's and we look forward to visiting again soon. Its definitely a great dining destination for foodies.
We also noticed on the night that the restaurant also boasts an excellent private space perfect for functions of up to 60 guests.