Ever wish you could jump on the next plane to Italy and be there in time to have an authentic Italian dinner that evening? Well now you can! Except all you need to do is hop in the car/bus/train and head to Haberfield. As soon as I walked in the door of Righetto Osteria Romana it felt like I had stepped into a quaint restaurant in Italy. The staff were so friendly and welcoming, and were keen to have a laugh with us. By the end of the night I knew these were people who loved their job.
The chef and owner is Enrico Viscontini, a 72-year-old Italian man who is known to play the trumpet for his guests. We were lucky enough to witness his performance for one group who were celebrating a birthday.
The food is Roman cafeteria style, with a selection of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes displayed at the back of the restaurant. There is also a selection of antipasti and pasta dishes off the menu. The food is truly authentic, offering a range of dishes including tripe, oxtail and tongue. If this isn’t food you’re used to, I would recommend going out of your comfort zone and having a bit of fun with it because you won’t be disappointed.
We started with an antipasto platter that offered buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, eggplant, potato frittata, tripe, Italian sausage, and homemade bread. All the produce was deliciously fresh and so well prepared. The stand outs were the eggless frittata, made with potato and sausage, and the tripe, which was served with a tomato based sauce that was packed with flavour.
Antipasto Platter – $16-$25
We then moved onto a pork cheek pasta which Enrico served us himself. He cracked an egg into the pasta still in the flying pan, and began to sing for us as he stirred. Wow, that man has a voice! The pasta contained few ingredients, pecorino, egg, cracked pepper and the pork cheek. It was rich, salty and delicious.
La Carbonara – $18
If that wasn’t enough food, we were then presented with oxtail and chicken wrapped in pancetta served with mushroom and a subtle hint of truffle. Each of the meat dishes are served with a choice of vegetables.
Prosciutto wrapped Chicken Involtini con i Funghi – $22
The oxtail was slow cooked for six hours, and it really did fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. Enrico told us that people don’t spend enough time cooking anymore. He wakes up at 4am to prepare the food for the restaurant with ingredients bought fresh in local markets. This is how he says he achieves truly authentic flavours. He hopes that Australians will gain a stronger appreciation of authentic Italian food.
La Coda Vaccinnara – $22
We managed to squeeze in a taste of their home cooked tiramisu, which was served with a shot of white Sambuca.
Tiramisu – $10
The food at Righetto is definitely food worth travelling for (and you don’t even have to get all the way to Rome). I’ll definitely be back with more family and friends.
Watermelon Shark Sculpture.
Righetto Osteria Romana
103 Ramsay Street Haberfield, NSW
Phone: (02) 97995500
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Righetto