Fratelli Fresh has long been an iconic brand for Sydney’s dining scene, a produce-driven Italian dining concept that was this year picked up by Urban Purveyor Group (now Rockpool Dining Group) and spread far and wide to new locations outside of the original and best known Bridge Street and Walsh Bay venues. One of the most central of these new locations is Westfield Sydney, where Fratelli Fresh has joined their fast-casual sister (and pizzeria spin-off) Fratelli Famous in the corner of the property’s tightly curated level 5 food hall.
The interior is outstanding, and possibly the most insulated of the businesses in the busy food hall. There’s a long open kitchen and bar, a private dining room with a striking red glow, and brassy archways standing tall opposite glass cabinets full of wine and other decorations nodding to Italian culture. If you want an atmosphere that’s separate from anything else in Westfield Sydney, this is the spot.
Grab a table overlooking busy Pitt St Mall and grab a very well made Negroni if you’re looking to get the most out of Fratelli Fresh. Even better, head along during Apertivo Hour(s) where a Negroni will be set at $7.50 between 3pm-6pm each day, with pizzas set at $15 each. Never mind if your visit falls outside of these hours though, while the menu does feature some pricey options most of the cost is reasonable and the servings are reasonable enough.
The Parma ($21) may not look like enough but the fresh figs, large slices of sweet proscuitto, and creamy Stracciatella di Bufala is a classic flavour combo well worth your time and taste. Have one of these on table along with a few Zucchini Flowers ($5 each), with light batter holding giving way to a thick blend of five Italian cheeses.
There are over 10 pastas listed on the menu, but perhaps the most eye-catching one as far as menu descriptions go is the Chilli & Lobster Paccheri ($32), a recent addition from the kitchen. Those who love their chilli may be slightly disappointed with this one; as someone with a preference against too much heat, even I found it to be a bit too mild with much of the promised kick lost while the thin flavoured tomato sauce . The texture was quite tough, perhaps slightly undercooked but still nice enough to keep me digging back in.
Preferable is the Black Cod al Cartoccio ($28) which is cooked in a thin paper bag with white wine, artichokes, lemons, and olives, a mixture that perfectly comes across in the juicy aromas that steam up as soon as you gently rip open the bag. The flavours sizzle into the soft, well-cooked cod with a strong sense of citrus being the unsurprisingly dominant taste. It’s a great addition to the menu, and one which shouldn’t be overlooked as an alternative to the pasta and pizza options.
For dessert, look to the $6 servings of Italian Gelato which come in generous tubs, or go straight for their perfect Torte Banoffee Pie. Fratelli are often the first point of call for a reliable Banoffe Pie around Sydney (and now Melbourne’s Alfred Place), and there’s clearly reason for this; the spongy, soft dessert is beautifully layered with a delicate biscuit base, a caramel centre and fluffy cream on top, with some added slices of banana and chocolate shavings just to give this a little fruity spin.
Fratelli Fresh is a welcome addition to the quality found at Westfield Sydney’s food hall. None of the dishes I tried were particularly special, but all, except maybe the pasta, hit the spot just on a leisurely weekday afternoon taking a break from the frantic streets below.
Address: Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Contact: 02 8099 7055
Hours: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.