Long-established as an Italian dining institution, Sydney’s Machiavelli now enjoys an extended reach throughout the city, with their second sister restaurant, another incarnation of Mach2, propped up right before customs at Sydney International Airport T1. It’s part of the re-focused dining options at airports around Australia, bringing in more reliable and popular outlets to up the standard of airport dining. Turning to a brand such as Machiavelli and giving them a platform to showcase their Italian food to inbound and outbound travelers was a smart move by Airport Retail Enterprises, who have been rolling out a bunch of new food options lately and were responsible in bringing MoVida to Sydney Domestic T2 a few years ago.
What Mach2 brings to Sydney International is a bunch of new dining options, thanks to their sit-down dining space and their front, takeaway-focused counter which focuses on substantial subs using fresh Italian produce. The sit-down space is nice and open, flowing from the outside (nearest check-in counter is counter H) to the inside, where you’ll find many black and white portraits of celebrities and musicians like The Beatles and Alfred Hitchcock.
There is a handful of wines, ciders and beers on offer here, but if you feel like a cocktail, the staff will kindly mix one up for you, given they have the necessary ingredients. Other than that, it’s all about the food here, and even if there aren’t many options on the menu, there’s a good slice of hearty Italian food to keep you in good spirits before jetting off around the world.
The menu is limited compared to the Mach2 in the city, but more focused, bringing over the most popular dishes like the most obvious starter, the Antipasto Platter ($30), a pile of crumbed eggplant, mushrooms, olives, salads, and meats. The prosciutto is very thinly sliced, salty, and full of flavour, necessary with a serving of bread.
There are various light salads on the starter menu, but those after something a bit richer in flavour should go straight for the Eggplant and Buffalo Mozzarella ($24) (headline image), which is a medley of crumbed eggplant, tomato concasse, buffalo mozzarella, and parmagiano. It’s creamy, delicious, and fairly filling.
The ‘mains’ section, again, has few options, only focusing on proven favourites. Pasta lovers can get a fair serving of Pappardelle al Ragu ($27) with 12-hour slow braised beef ragu. It’s passable, good by airport standards, but nowhere near the same quality as you’d come to expect from the same team behind one of the city’s most popular Italian restaurants, considering the sauce lacks flavour and the pasta overcooked and limp.
Another option is the Risotto ($19) with porcini mushrooms, green peas, and marscarpone cheese.
Desserts are the expected casual Italian dining treats: the tarts, the affogatos, the tiramisus, gelatos, and such. Mach2’s Chocolate Tart ($9.00) is nice and sweet, again nothing to write a postcard about but well beyond the expected for airport dining, especially given the fact that it’s less than 10 bucks and comes with a choice of vanilla gelato or strawberries and cream.
Mach2 is best experienced as a series of starter dishes, like the stand-out dish of eggplant and mozzarella, but the mains are decent should you want to lounge a bit longer before heading to customs. Another strength is that this restaurant is placed right after you check-in as opposed to beyond customs, giving you a nice chance to stretch out before you dive into the often frustrating process of international customs.
Address: Sydney International T1 (behind Counter H)
Contact: 02 9114 6558
Hours: 7 days; 5.30am – 9pm