Renata Roberts. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
It’s just two months since the restaurateur took to town her popular Kenmore eateries Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta, seeding them together in Paddington.
Now comes Wilston. Roberts last week threw open the doors on a Kedron Brook Road space previously occupied by Two Trees Eating House. It’s been booked out ever since, takeaway proving just as popular with a steady steam of orders flying out the door.
Roberts is pleasantly surprised. “Ten per cent of our clients previously were from the north side, and they gave us the insight to open over here.”
Like the Paddington and Kenmore sites, the focus is on authentic offerings of both traditional Italian pizza and Sichuan cuisine. Violetta drives home the dedication at the front of the premises with its mammoth 400-degree Stefano Ferarra wood-fired pizza oven dominating an otherwise neutral fit-out. Head pizzaiolo Giordano Pini directs the theatre as he adheres to the strict regulations required to produce true Neapolitan pizza.
Every 90 seconds Pini turns out another classic style, such as rustica (mozzarella, baked fine potatoes, pork and fennel sausage, Taleggio, basil) or capricciosa (mozzarella, mushrooms, ham, Ligurian olives, artichokes, basil). The pizzas are complemented by starters such as fried calamari with tangy mayo or chipotle mayo, as well as salads and sides.
Sichuan Bang Bang is squirrelled away at the back of the venue, its narrow dining space, red feature wall and low seating giving it the lively feel of a street market. Roberts’ team recreates traditional Sichuan punch with dishes such as wok-fried eggplant with minced pork in chilli sauce, and Shanghainese pork spare ribs in vinegar sauce.
Right now, Roberts says there is a 50-50 split between takeaway and in-house dining for the venue, but she’s determined to focus on the takeaway and “truly get it right” before launching home delivery next year. “That’s the next part of the business,” she says.
Sichuan Bang Bang & Pizzeria Violetta
70 Kedron Brook Road, Wilston
Pizzeria Violetta: (07) 3356 1999
Sichuan Bang Bang: (07) 3356 1288
Mon to Sun 5pm–late