The third in a trio of venues owned and run by chef Andrew Cibej, Berta is perhaps the more formal of the three, alongside Vini and 121BC in Surry Hills. Hidden down Alberta Street, a laneway on the cusp of Surry Hills and the Sydney CBD, Berta is a pleasant find.
The restaurant offers a well-rounded menu, which is worth returning to time and time again to sample the fresh daily options. The food is delicious, Italian-based fare, with a focus on local and seasonal, whole animal or ‘nose to tail’ dining. Broken into several dish sizes, this menu is best shared.
Dishes include blood sausage with a side of globe artichokes, the suckling pig with crisp, scorched skin or slices, pan-fried lamb rump with white bean mash and a side of salsa verde, or the roast duck with balsamic rosemary citrus.
Service is completely unassuming and non-invasive, almost to the extent that they are seen and not heard – a well-oiled machine.
Berta has a wine list featuring wines from all over Italy and imports most of them directly. These are also available for purchase up the road at Cibej’s other venue 121BC – the slickest of Sydney wine bars with a takeaway license.
Berta is a welcome addition to what is a flourishing career for the owner/chef, as well as to the hospitality culture within Sydney CBD and surrounds.