Ballaró serves the kind of street food you’d find in a Sicilian market. The eatery is named after a famous food market in Palermo. Balls of saffron-rice arancine filled with beef ragout and peas sit under the glass counter. The rice is imported from Italy. It’s more robust and holds its form better than the Arborio rice typically used in Australia.
Pizza in teglia (on a tray) is also on offer. The difference between pizza in teglia and more familiar round pizzas starts with the dough. The wobbly variety takes three days to prove before it’s ready to be made into pizza bases – Australian flour can’t handle such a long process, so Ballaró imports flour from Italy.
The toppings for pizza in teglia lack the sameness of pizzas made with tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella. For the Arzia, Ballaró uses nduja, a spicy salami that’s so immature and soft, it can be spooned out of its casing like a paste. Italian pork sausage, caramelised onions and provolone picante (a stronger version of its mild cousin) finish the pizza.
The space is small and bright with a handful of tables and a high glass counter that houses the day’s offerings. Swathes of fabric in the Italian flag’s red, green and white drape from the ceiling, mimicking the decorations of the Ballaró marketplace.
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