In Italy, there’s a word for adult men who live at home and are doted on by their mothers. “Mammoni” describes the kind of fellow who is accustomed to being waited on by a mama who demonstrates her love through food. And at Bar Mammoni, an all-day laneway eatery and bar in the CBD Quay Quarter precinct, this is exactly the kind of round-the-clock attention you can expect.
The diminutive space is mainly devoted to the kitchen, but there is a bar for sipping Allpress espresso (standing up, Italian-style), and seating for 24 in the courtyard. The counter is framed by a rack of house-made amari, with a new bottle championed every week.
Mornings at Bar Mammoni are all about pastries – which might have recognisable ingredients but are anything but traditional. Consider the chocolate croissant; stuffed with a chocolate brownie and drizzled with salted caramel custard on the exterior. That said, you’ll also find classics such as sfogliatelle.
At lunch-time, Mammoni pivots to pizza by the slice. The 72-hour fermented dough is made with flour freshly milled next door at Grana Bakery, and the crust is a light, crunchy platform for a range of ever-changing toppings. Past highlights include ’nduja, caramelised onion and ricotta; pork and octopus with lemon garlic cream; and tomato, stracciatella and basil. There’s also a menu of small dishes: Sydney rock oysters, a chicken-wing cotoletta and a platter of dips and cured meats.
To drink, there’s a seasonally evolving spritz menu that heroes Australian and Italian spirits. Sicilian-inspired bar Apollonia next door has one of Australia’s largest collections of Italian and Australian amari, and is very generous with the stash. And a tight wine list offers both local and Italian drops by the glass, carafe or bottle.
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