Tag Archives: italian

Parma Cucina

Update: Round 3 at Parma!

And we’re back! At Parma – again, thanks to TravelZoo’s $69 voucher for 3 courses for two people plus a bottle of wine! We’ve been here three times now, but good thing they have a wide ranging menu.

New cushions
New cushions

So what’s new at Parma? They seem to have some new cushions. Some nice artsy designs here.

These cushions are important, because when you get really full from Parma, you really need some back support.

Capresee, roma tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and oregano
Capresee, roma tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and oregano

Our entrees arrive. D2D gets the same salad as last time – still very refreshing and tasty, but, if you compare it with our previous visit, this is a lot smaller!

It later turned out that D2D had it all planned: that with a series of specifically chosen entree, main, dessert combination, that he wouldn’t be too full. That’s why he chose this salad…

Saffron arancini with italian sausage and green peas on a tomato bed $17
Saffron arancini with italian sausage and green peas on a tomato bed $17

Here’s my entree: arancini with italian sausage and peas. Very tasty and quite big! But I couldn’t find much sausage inside.

With the TravelZoo voucher’s entree you can actually choose a bruschetta or salad as an entree. Without the voucher, I’m not sure if the arancini is worth it – $4 per ball?

Pescatore pizza - $27. This has king prawns, scallops, cherry tomatoes and rocket
Pescatore pizza – $27. This has king prawns, scallops, cherry tomatoes and rocket

I ordered a pizza (since we’ve never had a pizza before at Parma) and it’s pretty big, featuring juicy prawns and scallops. The pizza base is quite thin, but crust puffs out a bit.

I totally struggle to finish the pizza. D2D sees my ‘help me!’ eyes and eats half for me. Notably, the table of 2 girls next to us share ONE pizza and that’s it. In comparison, I’ve ordered a pizza to myself, plus an entree and dessert to come!

Rib eye 350g with cherry tomato and salad on the side $34
Rib eye 350g with cherry tomato and salad on the side $34

This is D2D’s T-bone steak. I helped him out too by eating a small portion! It was very juicy as well and pretty big, despite the big bone there.

By this time, I’m passing into food coma phase. The cushions come in handy here. The waiter notices this and offers us a rest before serving dessert. This seems like a really good idea so we wait like half an hour. During this time, I decide to tell D2D the entire story of Anastasia (the missing Russian princess) and he starts to look equally sleepy…

All too soon, my half hour rest is up and D2D is eager to eat more!

Nutella fritta - $14
Nutella fritta – $14

We’ve tried all the desserts here now, so revisit the Nutella pizza pocket! Compared to last time’s, this again seems a bit smaller and D2D wants more nutella. The dough/pastry is very soft and folded up. Instead of flaked almonds, they have chopped and whole hazelnuts.


This is the tiramisu – served in a cup like last time’s pannacotta. There’s a lot of cream here, which makes it quite light. It feels like it could have had more coffee flavour though.


And here is our bottle of Parma red wine! D2D drinks a lot of this, because after 3 sips, I’m very red and warm.

During the half hour rest, we did some online research and found that 80% of Asians (almost all Chinese and Koreans) are genetically more susceptible to alcohol. This is because our Asian bodies produce an enzyme that converts alcohol into a toxin at a faster rate than other people. We also produce that another enzyme that breaks down that toxin at a lower rate than other people…

Anyway that brings us to the end of our third visit! 🙂

Original Post:

This is our second time at Parma Cucina!

Located at 285A Crown Street, Surry Hills, Parma Cucina is a bit hard to find. But basically it’s on the corner of Crown Street and Campbell Street. Each time we’ve gone to Parma, we’ve actually been using a group buy voucher and it’s amazing value! So keep an eye out the next time they do vouchers 🙂

Parma Cucina

Welcome to Parma Cucina!

The decor and ambience at Parma is one of the things I love about it. The place is little bit fancy, a bit hipster and a bit contemporary mixed into one without seeming too pretentious or alternative. There’s a variety of seating near the bar as well as tables around the rather spacious place. There’s also an upstairs where you can see the open kitchen.

As you walk to the bathrooms, there’s little plants and cans of tomatoes.

Pizza pans

Here’s there cocktail lounge type area with pizza pans covering the wall!

Food and Drink

Our voucher gives us a good mix of things to try. First up, we order some cocktails!


Traffic light red and green! Their Happy Hour finishes at 6.30pm and we make it in time. Normally their cocktails are $14, but now it’s $9. They also have a wine menu.

House antipasto ($24)

This is the Chef’s selection of salumi, cheese, marinated vegetables, olives, smoked salmon and grissini. This platter is pretty big and so delicious. I especially loved the mushrooms and pumpkin. You have to be careful not to fill up too much on it though!

Caprese salad – roma tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, oregano ($17)

This seemed like a super simple salad and I had super low expectations. Especially I’ve previously found buffalo mozzarella to be bland. But this was really tasty and the mozzarella was so soft! It was like eating a marshmallow!

Whole baby spatchcock stuffed with apple, pear, sausages, rosemary and raspberry dressing ($28)

This was D2D’s main. It looks pretty amazing right?


Chargrilled lamb cutlets, pistacchio crust, roasted Kipfler potatoes, SAUTEED vegetables and salmoriglio oil ($28)

This is my main. I think what I like about Parma most is that they have quite an extensive menu to choose from: antipasto, bruschettas, deli and cheese platters, mains (like above), pizzas, pasta, sides and dessert! Usually, I find that eating “Italian” means either pizza or pasta, but here there’s just so much more choice!

For this main, I especially liked the little potatoes. For some reason, they seemed to be seasoned so well and it made them super tasty.

Serving size at Parma? Just right! And even though we don’t quite have room for it, we order our desserts

Vanilla pannacotta ($12)

The pannacotta was nice but nothing too special.

Nutella fritta ($12)

THIS was impressive! It came out on a big pizza board (like what they had put up on their walls) and a pizza cutter! This is definitely not a one-person serving and should be shared. We managed to eat 75% of it, which I thought was a good effort.

I definitely recommend giving this one a go!

What else at Parma?

Parma Cucina also has a takeaway pizza menu and cooking classes! Check out their website for more details. They also say that they are going to have $20 unlimited pizzas on Sundays coming up! 🙂

Parma Cucina on Urbanspoon


Jamie’s Italian, Sydney CBD

Neither of us have been to Jamie’s Italian before, so this was a good opportunity to go to the place known for long waiting lines. We booked on a Monday night at 8pm, which suited us fine. We’d gone to a life drawing session at the Art House Hotel from 6pm, and quickly walked over to Jamie’s.

Jamie’s Italian

This place is massive

Yes, you MUST book. Even on a Monday night, I think the online booking options either had 5pm or 8pm. So book early. And don’t just show up, because it’s a 50 minute wait. Yes, seriously – 50 minutes! On a Monday night! It’s a bit insane – the level of hype – around this place. The waiting line isn’t so bad on a Monday – the couple before us are told it’s 50 mins, so they wait in the bar area (they seem happy/content with 50mins at 8pm…if that was me, I would be starving!).

More popular nights (Thurs to Sun), I’ve seen groups of people waiting outside the restaurant. They even have a velvet rope carpeted line – very posh.

Thankfully, D2D has booked and we are seated pretty quickly and assigned a waiter.

Open kitchen with 10+ chefs working away

Service and ambience

The place is massive, fitted out with tons of tables and an open kitchen featuring 10+ chefs working hard away. Our waiter is running around. Sadly, I have to say I was disappointed with the service. Our waiter was quite delayed in everything, from getting our orders to water, to clearing the table and getting the bill. We had to flag them down (or really ANYONE down) to get anything done.


Ambience? The wall across from us has some cool graffiti art.

However, I felt like this restaurant was rather uncomfortable. The table for two is tiny (with a hot light very close to our heads) and seems squashed once all the food arrives. What makes this more noticeable is that the waiter doesn’t come to clear the table of empty dishes. We had to flag someone down to ask them to do so. At the end, we just stacked the plates ourselves and even then, it didn’t get cleared. Ever. They were there even after we’d gotten the bill and paid.

Are they too busy and understaffed? Seems like it. Yet, not even every table was filled, so I’m not sure how they could cope when it is at full capacity…

Okay, onto the more positive comments:

Food and drink

We order a variety of dishes to share – entree size.

Polenta chips -$8.50

These were really tasty! Super crunchy and not too oily.

Tomato and mozzarella arancini – $10.50

This was nice, but $10.50 for 3 arancini balls? Not too sure if its worth it.

Land and sea risotto – $16

This was really good and so filling! Delicious seafood goodness.

Black angel spaghetti – $14.50

The most visually interesting. I love how black angel spaghetti always makes a dish more…ominous haha. Quite good, but I was so full at this stage, it was a struggle to fit it in!

Mortadella and ricotta panzerotti

A nice interesting mix of flavours. Apples always adds a little citric sweet/sour flavour.

Bread and drink

D2D also ordered a cocktail and some bread, which was only $1.50! Apparently the bread used to be free. But still cheap, you get a variety of breads/sticks etc with a dish of olive oil.

All in all, the food was very filling – so much that we weren’t able to even order dessert.

Overall verdict?

Jamie’s Italian is a mix: the wait without booking is a bit ridiculous. The food is quite good and relatively cheap for a restaurant run/owned by the famous Jamie Oliver. The service, poor this time, but perhaps this was just a once off.

Will I be back? Probably – we need to try dessert.
Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon