Nestled behind Kings Cross at the end of Kellett Street is the House Bar and Bistrot. Chef Mauro Forgillo, who has worked at Fratelli Fresh, Rockpool and Merivale restaurants had the dream to open his own restaurant, and he’s achieved it at 27-years-old. The result is a charming place in two adjoining terrace houses, serving food that highlights good produce and tasty simple cooking.
We came partly because they also feature a vegetarian menu, though we mixed it up with some seafood dishes as well. Starting off with a selection of starters of sourdough bread ($12-13 each for four), it was fun deciding among the three of us which were our favourite (and who would then get the second piece).
I liked the simplicity and savoury-sour hit of the marinated sardines. The others thought that dish needed another element, to be as tasty as the pear-honey-gorgonzola one, or the pumpkin-thyme-parmigianno.
For a main, I had homemade ravioli with lardo and wild mushrooms. It was tasty and I love homemade pasta. My pals split a Tagliolini with king prawns, garlic and chili ($26) and they raved about the taste of the prawns.
We accompanied it with a generous fennel salad.
We matched it with a bottle of, first, Venician white wine, organic I believe (which I preferred), and followed it with an Australian pinot gris (which my friends preferred).
I found it all in all very charming, though I’m a little worried about them finding a clientele. Kellett Street SHOULD be busy, and once was, and has an interesting mix of restaurants (who else remembers the hat restaurant on this street where diners chose hats from the walls to wear during the meal: a fun idea for a party).
And on Anzac Day, it was pretty quiet, except for the occasional sailor walking by. But it’ll be hard to get walk-by traffic here, and the name ‘House’ doesn’t, to me, point to the best part of the restaurant, a friendly feeling of Italian authenticity.