Monday, 10 June 2013

Parma Cucina, Surry Hills - 9 June 2013

It’s sign of times when we are celebrating our wedding anniversary at a casual Italian bar on a Travel Zoo voucher. The bank account has definitely been feeling the pinch and we needed a venue that would deliver great food at affordable prices. A 3 course meal for 2, plus a bottle of wine for $59. Now that’s a bargain if I hadn’t seen one!  

Parma Cucina (285a Crown St, Surry Hills) is a fairly new addition to the Surry Hills dining scene. It’s located on the corner of Campbell St and Crown St. It’s open all day and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Beef fillet and mushroom carpaccio with apple, rocket, parmesan shaved and truffle oil (normally $18)
I chose the beef carpaccio as my entrée. For me it was the right entrée to choose because it was light (as you will find out, the rest of the meal absolutely stuffed me to the brim). The carpaccio tasted fresh, however I felt like the dish needed something more to lift it in terms of flavour (maybe some herbs,  vinegar or more citrus).

Cheesy pizza pane - crushed garlic, olive oil, rosemary and fresh mozzarella (normally $14)
My wife chose the pizza as her entrée. The pizza was quite good however  it was much too big as an entrée for one person. I ended up having two slices and we ended up taking away 2 of the slices. As with all pizzas, the base is the make or break component. A bad pizza base ruins a pizza. However, this base seemed to tick all the boxes: it was thin, crispy, not soggy and had great flavour. As we are both fan of cheesy pizzas, it was obvious that melted mozzarella with loads of garlic was going to be a hit.       


Lasagna d’anatra – slow roasted duck and porcini lasagne (normally $28)
I had the lasagna as my main and it is the signature dish at Parma. And I can see why! Lasagna is a great comfort food and a favourite of mine, especially in winter. I just love those sheets of handmade pasta, with layers of meat and creamy sauce wedged in between and cheese sprinkled on top. There was loads of pulled duck meat in the lasagna and the duck meat was tender and had great flavour. The lasagne was creamy, cheesy, but not too heavy and of course delicious. The kind of dish that you just want to keep digging more and more. However, the lasagna was massive! I was really struggling to finish but I persevered!   

Spinach ravioli – stuffed with ricotta, zucchini flower, cherry tomato sauce and walnuts (normally $25)
My wife chose the spinach ravioli as her main. All the pastas at Parma are hand made at the restaurant and it shows as the pastas are quality. Again the portion size was huge: 6 large discs of pasta filled with a generous amount of ricotta. The tomato sauce was quite nice and slightly spiced. The walnuts were a great addition and lifted the dish. Overall, my wife found this to be an enjoyable dish.          


Yoghurt and honey bavarese – with orange and pistachio (normally $12)
Yet another great dessert. The bavarese was a good choice as we needed something a bit lighter after we had stuffed ourselves with so much food. The bavarese is like a panna cotta made with yoghurt. It goes very well with orange. This is slightly nitpicking, but I would have preferred the bavarese to be slightly less set and more wobbly. This doesn’t detract from the dish too much though as we still enjoyed the dessert.

Tiramisu (normally $12)
I love tiramisus. Such a simple dessert that is easy to make at home. Parma’s version was amazing. One of the better tiramisus I have eaten in recent times. The lady fingers soaked in coffee and liqueur were yum and enjoyable to eat with marscapone and chocolate. The streaks of chocolate on the plate were a bit unnecessary but I suppose they are there more for presentation.
Highlight: The Duck Lasanga is definitely the go-to dish at Parma.  
Lowlight: Beef carpaccio needed more flavour.  
Overall: Parma serves great quality Italian comfort food. Big servings and big flavours. A great addition to the already vibrant Surry Hills dining scene. 6.5/10 (Good)

Parma Cucina on Urbanspoon