Giant buffalo mozzarella plaits delivered from Italy’s most famous cheese-making town, salami made entirely in-house over three months, and a “game-changing” gnocchi are all on the menu at Salumeria Norcino, Pyrmont’s new Italian eatery and deli.
“We make our gnocchi with a slow-braised ragu of house-made Italian sausages and pork spare ribs, then finish it with pecorino,” Arnolfo Raimondi (ex-Eastside Bar and Grill, Gavroche), who co-owns Salumeria Norcino with his friend, Fabio Battisti, tells Broadsheet. “It’s based on our childhood memories, and we still argue about how to make it.”
The pair know their stuff. While Raimondi hails from Rome, where his family has owned restaurants for “at least a hundred years”, Battisti grew up in Carpineto Romano, a medieval town 60 kilometres south-east of Rome, where locals are passionate about food. In fact, Romans drive there to go grocery shopping.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
Another of the duo’s favourite dishes is tomato fettuccine, made with loads of fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and premium olive oil. Then there’s the Roman artichoke – partly steamed, partly boiled, and partly fried, adhering to the most stringent of standards.
Every ingredient at Salumeria Norcino is made from scratch or sourced from exceptional producers. In the dedicated butchering area, free-range, hormone-free pig, bought directly from farmers, is transformed into salami, pancetta, porchetta and sausages. It’s a traditional process that takes three to four months, and involves no additives whatsoever. Meanwhile, a three-kilogram buffalo mozzarella plait arrives monthly from Battipaglia, a castle-topped town in Italy’s south-west famous for its mozzarella.
“We called it ‘salumeria’ because it means a gastronomy place, where you buy artisanal products, while ‘norcino’ is an old word for a pork butcher who also worked as a doctor,” says Raimondi.
Salumeria Norcino is an eatery and deli. You can sit down to dine, while sipping from the all-Italian drinks list, which features small-batch biodynamic wines, craft beers, and Di Lorenzo coffee. Or you can take away a ready-to-go classic, like lasagne or meatballs, to eat later at home. You can even buy groceries to cook yourself. But don’t bother searching the internet for a menu. As at classic Roman eateries, dishes change according to the best produce available at the market each day.
One exception is the baked goods. Every morning maritozzo, a traditional Roman breakfast made of a brioche bun filled with whipped cream, custard or chocolate, is served up.
“Maritozzo means ‘little husband’,” says Raimondi. “It’s based on a romantic story that’s now a legend. Back in the day, in Rome, a young guy who wanted to propose to a girl would make these pastries and hide a precious stone inside the filling.”
In designing the interior, the duo went for an industrial yet intimate, homey feel. The stainless steel of the kitchen contrasts with the timber seating and communal table of the dining room, where there’s room for 20. A soundtrack of funk and hip-hop is piped through the room.
“We want customers to feel welcome to ask for anything,” says Raimondi. “We have lots of great food. You just tell us how you want it, and whatever we can do, we’ll do.”
1 Saunders Street, Pyrmont
0433 685 850
Mon to Wed 7am–3pm
Thu to Sun 7am–3pm, 5.30pm–10pm