Upgrade your supermarket sushi and throw away that sloppy pad Thai. Lunchtime just took on a brand new meaning with the opening of Fratelli Fresh and Café Sopra on Bridge Street in the CBD. It’s just like the other venues in Walsh Bay, Waterloo and Potts Point, in that it’s one part fruit and vegetorium (Fratelli Fresh) and part casual restaurant/trattoria (Café Sopra). But that’s where the similarities end.
Bridge Street has its own mozzarella bar where you can try the likes of fresh buffalo mozzarella with shavings of prosciutto or smoked mozzarella with fine shavings of pickled radish. Set up with a glass of wine or a Campari at the bar and watch the chefs at work on your cheese. It’s also perfect if you’re after a table in the inevitably full restaurant.
Expect all your old faves from the other Café Sopra joints including the linguine with preserved lemon, parsley and breadcrumbs and spears of blanched asparagus topped with a whole deep-fried duck egg and a sprinkling of parmesan. Sadly (and surprisingly), the orecchiette with teeny tiny pork meatballs is slightly overcooked and the pasta water is under-seasoned. But the miniature arancini with super lemony mayo are crisp on the outside, and ricey, cheesy molten in the middle. Boom.
There’s even a private room you can book for groups. Check out the Campari room - lush, bright red carpet and red studded banquettes. Unfortunately, on our visit it’s also got more than its fair share of mozzies, which attack with a ferocity only reserved for a table of people dining out on delicious Italian food. That’s good blood, right there.
Service is friendly but a bit chaotic - orders are lost and no one communicates to us that we should refer to the specials board out the front to order - it’s slightly more confusing than the other Frat Fresh/Café Sopras as there are more nooks and crannies to hide away and be forgotten in. Still, once they get their systems in place, we’re sure it’ll be as excellent as all their other venues. Check it out.