When opening a pasta joint, ordering a pasta machine is a good place to start. For Samantha Fitzpatrick (Cakes & Shit) and Sam Holman (former co-owner of The New Black), the pair behind new Valley spot Uh Oh Spaghettio, it was one of the first things they did. Then coronavirus happened.
“We ordered a pasta machine from Italy,” Fitzpatrick says. “[When] corona hit we watched it very slowly make its way across the world. It was one of the main things that [held us up].”
Eventually, it arrived. The machine – an Italgi pasta extruder – can churn out 13-kilograms of pasta an hour. This means all pasta can be made in-house (except for the gluten-free pasta, which is bought fresh every week). Since opening last Friday, the venue has been going through 30 kilograms of pasta a night.
Uh Oh Spaghettio is housed inside the two-level, heritage-listed 19th century Apothecaries Hall, once home to The Apo. The fit-out builds on the exposed heritage brick with pink neon, concrete and giant pasta-themed art. Out the back is a glass-enclosed, marble-tiled pasta room that allows diners in the courtyard to watch the pasta machine in action.
The menu’s pricing keeps things easy. Antipasti dishes are $5 per serve, salads are $10 and pasta is $15 a pop. While the menu is broadly Italian-inspired, this is very much Holman’s take on the cuisine.
“Not being Italian myself, I was conscious of not trying to cook traditional Italian food,” he says. “That’s the quickest way to crucify yourself. For us, it was about making something completely different.”
Holman’s menu includes Peroni-infused macaroni with anchovy gremolata and fermented honey ricotta; pork and veal bolognaise with pappardelle and tomato sugo (Holman uses his grandmother’s sugo recipe); and squid ink spaghetti with seafood, fermented chilli, fried garlic and house-made XO sauce. For starters, there’s house-baked focaccia, bruschetta and bolognaise chips (think of an Italian poutine). The latter is sure to be a hit for late-night diners – Uh Oh Spaghettio is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. DJs will kick off at 9.30pm.
Just like the food menu, the natural-leaning wine list is evenly priced with by-the-glass options at $13, carafes (500 millilitres) at $38 and full bottles at $55. There are also beers on tap and six cocktails.
In the next few weeks, Holman and Fitzpatrick will open the Uh Oh Bottle-O & Wine Bar across the laneway. You’ll be able to buy wine, take a seat in the shared outdoor space in the laneway, and order from any of the venues in Bakery Lane.
“You could buy a bottle of wine and dig into some Korean food from Nom Nom, have some dumplings from Gung Ho, or finish your night at Joy and have an after-dinner drink,” Holman says. “Hopefully, the more people congregating in that laneway, the better it’s going to be for all the tenants.”
Uh Oh Spaghettio
690 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Wed, Thurs & Sun 11am–11pm
Fri & Sat 11am–3am