Lunch Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm;
Dinner Mon-Sat 5.30pm-10pm
Like Mario Testino working with Kate Moss, a certain magic happens when Stefano Manfredi meets flour and water. Hand-rolled pasta, be it trad ravioli (bouncy with burrata and basil) or experimental maccheroncini (earthy from kamut flour and salty with ricotta salata), is consistently excellent, and comforting (eyes on you, veal ragù). Yamba prawns, smoky from the wood-fired grill, are sea-sweet, but undone by a ho-hum tomato, olive and oregano garnish. This kind of bottom-up cooking, with its tight focus on produce, relies on deft execution. It's evident in the pan-roasted duck breast, crisp of skin, with nothing more than nectarine purée and bitter amaranth leaves; it's there in the rocket and Parmigiano salad; and in the fluffy pandoro with white chocolate mousse. The Futurist wall art is as conceptual as it gets at Balla. Swift service, a customer-first attitude, an extensive wine list, and water glimpses round out Manfredi's magic act.
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