Sincero is an Italian word meaning honest or sincere. It’s also the name of a new restaurant on Glenferrie Road, Malvern. “[The name] reflects who we are and our food,” says Cinzia Buono, who owns the restaurant with chefs Mirco Speri (ex-The European, ex-Pastore) and Daniele Ruffolo (ex-Pastore).

The trio has been together since 2020, when they opened their first restaurant, Parkdale’s Buono. The two chefs are splitting their time across both restaurants.

“Italian [food] for me is using good produce from where you are,” Speri says. Local Moreton Bay bug is served atop a bed of homemade seaweed spaghetti, made with toasted nori and wakame powder for a “super umami, super flavoursome” experience.

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Another of the team’s favourites is the scallop tartare with house-made mozzarella garnished with hazelnuts and sourdough crumble for nuttiness and crunch, then finished off with a dusting of powder made from scallop shells.

Humble Italian mainstays are given a nouvelle cuisine edge. Take the eggplant parmigiana, where passata is swapped for a sweet and tangy tomato agrodolce, basil leaves are replaced with dehydrated basil powder, and parmesan cheese is traded in for a smooth, light, cheesy foam.

The beef ravioli, a pared-back plate of pasta, beef, parmesan and truffle, is a moreish delight that hits the spot. “It’s probably the tastiest dish, you could just keep eating them!” says Speri.

For dessert, there’s the chocolate sampietrino, named for the cubed cobblestones found throughout Rome and made using dark chocolate, ricotta and amarene (sour cherry jam).

Sincero also offers four-, five- or six-course degustation menus starting at $115 per person, with the option to add wine or cocktail pairings.

Wine is a highlight of the offerings at Sincero. Co-owner and sommelier Fabio Magliano previously worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Locanda Locatelli in London. Wines from Barolo – known as “the king of wines and the wine of kings”, Buono says – are standouts. Expect to also see drops from France, Australia and areas in Italy including the Gavi region and Bolgheri, Tuscany.

The space, previously home to Spanish restaurant Remy, is completely unrecognisable after undergoing a renovation. For the design, the team worked with Pascale Gomes-McNabb, a firm known for its work on iconic Melbourne restaurants such as Stokehouse and Cumulus Inc.

Mirrored surfaces open up the space, with warm sculptural lighting fixtures adorning the ceilings. Colour has been injected into the space through use of deep jewel tones on plush velvet upholstery and muted pink and green on marble surfaces.

Sincero Ristorante & Bar
283-285 Glenferrie Road, Malvern
(03) 8527 5753

Hours:
Wed 5.30–11pm
Thu to Sat midday–2.30pm; 5.30–11pm

www.sincero.com.au