All photos courtesy of Robert Spankie @rob_spankie_creative

Bar Totti’s isn’t an unknown restaurant in Sydney, but one has to ask if it lives up to the hype?

Bar Totti’s in Sydney’s CBD isn’t quite the most hidden of gems so when we went to visit, we wondered whether it would live up to all the hype or not. And to make a long story short, it certainly did.

Right off the bat they had a seasonal drinks menu featuring a variety of gin cocktails. The three of us took our order; two white ladies and a pink gin and tonic. While a gin and tonic isn’t exactly the hardest of brews to concoct, Bar Totti’s somehow made it special. It was delightfully tangy with some extra citrus flavour from the orange slice that provided a sweet compliment than lemon or lime. Delightful. Casey said her white lady was sweet but tangy with hints of lemon that was just a perfect complement to the weather outside.

The Food

The menu had a variety of Italian dishes but what really caught our eye was the antipasto options. Such a wide variety of choices to fit any kind of preference or diet. Being of Croatian heritage myself, I was very keen on their cold cuts.

We grabbed the prosciutto, mortadella, salami, mushrooms, and marinated peppers. It was served with this delicious woodfire bread and, oh my god, was this antipasto one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! The prosciutto was an absolute highlight, and you can watch it getting freshly sliced right there in the restaurant! Special mention must be made to those mushrooms too. I honestly don’t know what they marinated it in but, boy, was it good.

The only item that didn’t quite hit the mark were the marinated peppers, but I am quite bias as I don’t really like peppers. But neither Casey or Rob remarked on or mentioned the peppers so it is more likely that they were simply okay.

By the time the mains came around we were so full from the antipasto that it was a struggle to eat! But regardless as to how much we were full, our mains were almost as good as what came before.

I grabbed the lamb ragu with pappardelle and it was so rich that simply a few bites would have made me full even on an empty stomach. In comparison to the ragu I had at A’mare, this absolutely stands head over heels above that.

Casey tried the reginette spanner crab with tomato & chilli pangrattato. She said that this pasta wasn’t anything less than perfect. It had just the right amount of chili with enough kick to add to the flavour of the crab. The crab itself Casey thought was easily up there within her top three – maybe even number one.

The third in our party, Robert, grabbed the veal rump schnitzel that he thought was simply divine. The veal was tender and the crumb just scrumptious. It should be given the hefty price tag but luckily no one was left disappointed or with the sinking feeling that you have been ripped off.

The Service

Now unfortunately, there were some minor issues mostly related to the service. I will not be harsh here as it was a busy day and I am well aware that many hospitality venues are struggling to find staff so I will be quick and rip this off like a band-aid. The service was a little slow, not crazy slow, but just slow enough to notice. And our waiter didn’t seem to know the menu very well but again that may have been likely because she was new.

That was our only complaint and given how great everything else was and the state of hospitality during the pandemic, it is forgivable.

We were not left wanting anything and our glasses were kept filled. It is a small gripe because otherwise we were taken care of well. 

The Venue

Going back to the good stuff, the venue. The venue is awesome. Its location allows it to be used for a variety of occasions. Ducking in for a work lunch? It’s literally right across the road from Wynyard station so no problem. Need a place to start on a night out? Well again, it’s right there and with a fantastic cocktail menu it’s a perfect place to get everyone together for a fantastic night out.

The vibe and atmosphere of the place is fantastic too. It simultaneously feels retro yet modern. Art adorns the walls and a woodfire oven is right there on display. Your mouth can’t help but water as you watch the bread being taken out.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Bar Totti’s and would recommend it highly to anyone willing to spend a little more on food as the prices aren’t exactly what we would call budget, but you can make it work.

4.5/5

Book a table at Bar Totti’s using the link below!

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