Da Orazio chef-restaurateur and pizza-pasta maestro Orazio D’Elia is turning to the sweet side, with the impending opening of Mia Dolci Italiani, an Italian pasticceria in an Alexandria warehouse. By his side is Riccardo Falcone, formerly executive pastry chef at Rockpool group. The duo both grew up in Italy’s Campania region – D’Elia in Naples and Falcone in Salerno – where, D’Elia tells Broadsheet, you’ll find a pasticceria on every corner.

“In Italy you go to the pasticceria on a Sunday and get a dessert to serve at lunch,” says D’Elia. “You’re like a kid in a candy store – you want to eat everything.”

Opening a pasticceria in Sydney is a long-held dream for both chefs. Stepping inside, visitors will find a coffee shop (brewing Vittoria coffee) with a mushroom-shaped window displaying desserts such as ricotta-filled cannoli, torta della nonna, delizia al limone and rum baba. Behind the display case will be the glass-encased kitchen, where guests can watch the pastry chefs at work. Mia Dolci will also sell handmade chocolates; the chocolate room will have a window so punters can see the chocolate as it’s made.

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“It’s a bit theatrical,” says D’Elia. “That’s what we wanted to create – something like in Italy when you go to find dessert, and you can sneak your eye into the kitchen and see the guys making great things.”

D’Elia’s knack for the savoury means it won’t all be about the sweets. An Italian take on quiche Lorraine, by-the-slice focaccia and pizzette will cater to the local lunch crowd. Mia Dolci will also supply desserts to Da Orazio in Bondi, as well as other wholesale customers.

“Life is sweet when you have a dessert at the end of your meal,” says D’Elia. “You always leave room for dessert, so hopefully there’s going to be room for us in the market.”

Mia Dolci will open at 200 Euston Road, Alexandria in early December.