The menu at Bayswater Kitchenette leans Italian, and there's clearly still a demand for the cuisine. The place is perpetually packed – even on Monday nights – so it's a good thing that the eatery's comfort food can be purchased to take home in dinner boxes.
The Rushcutters Bay eatery has some endearing quirks. When you take a seat your name gets jotted down on a Post-It and stuck to your table so whoever delivers your food can refer to you by name. There are only 24 seats, eight of which are on the footpath and warmed by very effective heaters. Inside, where space is at a premium, every surface is used. It means the wine list has to be restricted to seven options, with each available by the glass and in half-litre carafes. (You can BYO at the bottle shop down the road, which offers customers a 10 per cent discount.)
Like the food and the space, the wine list isn’t riding any trends. It’s been curated to work with chef and co-owner Alessia Bottini’s homey dishes, such as polenta served with mushrooms and herbs; a lasagne based on her mum’s recipe; and fish she places on a bed of potato and fennel, wraps in parchment paper and then bakes.