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Let's thank Riccardo Momesso for introducing us to the joy and honesty of Calabrian cuisine, starting with 'nduja, a fiery, spreadable sausage that features in the antipasti alongside roasted peppers, pickled mushrooms, home-cured olives and more. It's also added to one of the outstanding pizze. His melanzane caponata is a revelation: slices of eggplant coated with a fragrant mix of pine nuts, raisins, orange juice and cocoa. Fried, light whitebait is on a bed of chicory grown at his parents' farm. Their home-grown silverbeet, too, accompanies braised goat seasoned with white wine and anchovies; from the short, southern Italian-inspired wine list, a carafe of negroamaro will match. Or take espresso with Valentino's signature dessert, a pistachio panna cotta with caramel-salted popcorn. This large, loud, slick, yet unpretentious restaurant - filled with skilled waiters and half the neighbourhood - puts the fun back into eating out.

Photography: Marcel Aucar.

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At a glance

  • Food:
  • One Star
  • Price:
  • E $6-$26

    M $26-$35

    D $4-$19

  • Feature:
  • Licensed
    Wheelchair Access
    Outdoor dining
  • Cards:
  • American Express
  • Bookings:
  • Bookings essential
  • Chef:
  • Riccardo Momesso



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