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La Capannina

  • Restaurants
  • Milsons Point
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  2. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  3. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  4. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  5. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  6. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
  7. La Capannina
    Photograph: Katje Ford
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Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

A closely guarded secret worth discovering in Milsons Point

We know Sydney loves a waterfront restaurant, and if it comes with a view of the Harbour Bridge, well that's just an added bonus. So what would you say if we told you there was an absolutely killer Italian restaurant right underneath our famous Coathanger, where you can get a beautifully executed meal that won't set you back an arm, a leg, or a kidney?

We're talking about La Capannina, the family-run, closely guarded secret of Milsons Point. Adjoined to Kirribilli Bowls Club and a stone's throw from Luna Park, the taste of modern Italian, with wide-spanning glass windows and a minimalist yet chic interior is warmed by a highly prized courtyard with sandstone tiles and dappled light through the canopy of a frangipani tree. The true warmth, however, comes from the father and daughters team that run the floor, ducking and weaving through white linen-topped tables with good humour and the kind of efficiency that can only come from working with kin.

While the menu changes frequently and seasonally, a lot is dependent on produce hand-picked at daily markets – fresh produce that is creatively transformed into a frenzy of specials and a few menu mainstays. Fried sardines filled with smoked provola cheese and nori seaweed mayonnaise sounds like a conflict of so many interests, yet the combination of sweet and oily school fish, the rich mouthfeel of the smoked cheese and the deep ocean salinity of the nori makes for a satisfying mouthful indeed.

For those in the know, housemade tagliolini with blue swimmer crab meat, spring onions and a light tomato sauce is a must, and we are told it will never leave the menu. And for good reason, while crab and tomato pasta isn't reinventing any wheels here, the use of spring onion in tandem with the bright acid of the tomato sauce proves that the best things in life are often the simplest. 

A bit further down the menu, you'll run into pork belly with apples and chicory. This is the kind of dish that so often lets us down. Fat that's poorly rendered, skin that is either hard as tempered glass or as soggy as a wet newspaper has burned us before. This is not the case at La Capannina, who clearly know what they're doing as well as the audience they're playing for. Yes, these are safe dishes that we've all met before but they are executed in the most flawless fashion. Salty, crisp crackling, tender meat and fat that has been rendered with patience for a very long time – it's almost enough to make you skip dessert. Almost. 

It can be easy to overlook a tiramisu. We suggest that you do not. If you've been lucky enough to score a lunch table (request the courtyard) this is some of the better tiramisus we've ever had. If you'll forgive the cliche, it's lighter than air, pleasantly bitter from strong espresso and satisfyingly squidgy. A great pick-me-up after a long lunch on the north shore. All that's left to do is wander down to the foreshore, take in the view and walk it off.

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald

Details

Address:
41 South Alfred St
Milsons Point
Sydney
2061
Opening hours:
Lunch Wed - Fri 12 - 3pm; dinner Mon - Sat 6pm - late
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