Alessandro Pavoni is busy. At A’Mare in Barangaroo, he’s dishing up theatrics with the five-course Italian Job set menu, where each plate has a tableside element. In May, he’ll also be dedicating seven courses to carbs, with a pasta degustation. Meanwhile, the diner’s exceptional standard offering – with that spectacular pesto – powers on.

Pavoni is also behind waterside dining room Ormeggio at the Spit, and he’s deep in the revamp of Summer Hill’s treasured post office dining space (formerly home to One Penny Red), with Postino Osteria expected in July.

“It’s the weather, the people, the food, the feel,” Pavoni tells Broadsheet, when asked about the magic of Sydney. The respected executive chef and restaurateur found time to share where he’s eating around town – getting straight to the point.

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Alessandro, what’s your go-to for a quick lunch?
I am usually on the go so don’t have a particular spot, but I always look for sushi or sashimi.

And your favourite Sydney spot for a snack?
Pino’s Dolce Vita in Kogarah. When I stop by to buy things for the restaurants, I love to have a couple of slices of salami or something they are trialling.

What about a drink?
Henry G’s in Manly.

If it’s a special occasion, where are you booking? And what are you ordering?
Bert’s in Newport. Always start with freshly shucked oysters, crab, John Dory, rum baba – and chilled Martinis, of course.

Where’s your favourite coffee in Sydney?
Pilu Baretto – great coffee, great service, great view.

Do you have a go-to for a long lunch?
Pilu at Freshwater for a late Sunday lunch and to watch the day turn into evening.

How about a family meal?
Pizza with the kids at The Collaroy.

What’s your bucket list restaurant?
Noma in Copenhagen.

If you’re after something sweet, where are you headed?
I am not having many sweets these days, but Gelato Messina in Manly is great!

Do you have a favourite dish to cook at home?
Harris Farm is my go-to grocer, and lately I am enjoying cooking whole coral trout, roasted in the oven.

Is there a hidden gem in Sydney that you think is great?
The Restaurant Pendolino [in The Strand Arcade] – a Sydney icon.