Saturday, 25 August 2012

Balla

Dinner at Balla on a Saturday night entailed having to find a parking spot at the Star. This is a small challenge in itself as the Star has a casino which is quite packed at the weekends, plus all the dining venues now operating there plus musical theatre events on show throughout the year.

I was relieved to find one lone spot which I quickly took up. I had not been to the Star in quite a while, as a matter of fact I haven't been there since the relaunch of The Star. So I was curious to see what new changes have been made and scout out the new and happening restaurants, such as Balla, Black by Ezard, and Momofuku Seiobo.



Tonight my friend and I are dining at Balla. This is our first visit and we were looking forward to catching up with each other and trying out the food. I liked the way the restaurant was fitted out. There was a brightness to it that emoted a modern and upbeat vibe. Being a Saturday night, the restaurant was full.


We perused the menu and decided on an entree and a main each. This is what we had.



Panino al lampredotto (Tuscan style tripe panino, with salsa verde and chilli)



Testa in terrina con sedanorapa (Pork terrine with celeriac salad)



I was tempted to order the Salumi but decided against it. The thought of having some fabulous prosciutto was very tempting but I restraint myself.

For mains, we had:

Polipetti in galera e fettunta (Slow braised baby octopus with chilli and toasted garlic ciabatta).



Filetto di barramundi con lenticchie ( Pan-fried barramundi fillet with braised lentils)



We also ordered some sides of Roast rosemary potatoes and Sauteed broccolini with chilli and garlic. The broccolini was surprisingly full of flavour, it popped with garlic and was delicious!




I deliberately chose dishes that are not standard meals, i.e. the tripe and the baby octopus. I enjoyed my tripe entree, it felt like I was having a tripe sandwich. The baby octopus was tender and full of flavour. My friend did enjoy both the dishes of pork terrine and barramundi. The verdict on the barramundi was it was a good dish and the lentils surprisingly went well with the fish.

Then it came time to dessert. I decided on Tortufo al bianco torrone (Nougat and honey white truffle with hazelnut sauce) and my friend decided on a cheese plate (she doesn't have much of a sweet tooth). The cheese she selected was Pecorino with black truffle served with grapes, honey, fresh walnuts and some crisp bread.




I must say that the highlight for me was the dessert. I absolutely loved it and could have had another serving, if there was any room left in my tummy! It was creamy, had delicious honey and nougat favours and the hazelnut sauce went so well with the rest of the dish. Just spot on!

Generally the service was good, they were attentive and when my friend's cappuccino was a bomb, the staff was informed. They immediately produced another cup, which was tons better than the first.

I even saw an infamous ex NSW politician dining there with his wife but I won't name names.

Osteria Balla on Urbanspoon
Balla
Level G, Harbourside
The Star,
80 Pyrmont Street
NSW 2009
Website: www.star.com/Balla

Lunch: Tue-Fri & Sun 12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat 5.30pm to 10.30pm

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