Editor Eats - La Fettuccina

There is a reason that La Fettuccina has been in business for over thirty years and it’s not just the food, which is delightful, or the service, which is equally delightful and attentive. No, it’s something that is right at the root of any successful restaurant, consistency. In restaurant years three decades is an ice age, and only those that demonstrate true consistency can navigate the potentially catastrophic vagaries that hospitality has in store.  This long term reputation makes choosing to dine at ‘La Fett’ a culinary no brainer, often born out by the fact that they are the busiest establishment on their Shield Street strip. The clientele is largely local and anecdotes of intergenerational dining abound, people have been brought here to eat by their parents and now bring their own kids. For those of you not familiar, the restaurant is not huge, inside and outside seating probably only accommodates a few more than 100 diners, and the kitchen is a ‘shotgun’ affair, which acts as a powerhouse often turning over two sittings and 150 plus meals a night.

As you might have guessed, I am a regular, and like all good regulars I have a go to. The core of the menu has not changed significantly, well, ever. Pastas abound, all are made on site, and fresh. They are served as they should be, al-dente, and cooked to order.  Favourites are the Spaghetti Carbonara and the Spaghetti alla Pescatora both simple yet magnified in their excellence by the competence of preparation and thoughtful selection of the finest local ingredients wherever available. The double smoked bacon is delicately chopped to allow the smokiness to permeate the rest of the dish and infuse the cream sauce.  The Pescatora, declared as ‘fisherman style’ is exquisite in its simplicity, prawns, fish, garlic and chilli all carried together through a dash of olive oil.  Even the Bruschetta, the simplest of dishes, exudes the taste of quality ingredients prepared well.  The owners, Johnny and Andrea, pride themselves on providing a reassuringly stable environment, and maintain exacting standards. They keep it unpretentious but excellent with this approach evident across the entire menu, the veal scaloppine, Tablelands rib eye and grilled coral trout are also on this diners short list. The wine list is also excellent, with many varietals that pair nicely across the menu. Particularly worthy is  the Monte Tondo Soave, which I personally think goes with everything and the Aphelion Grenache which is a very fine drop if you don’t or won't do a white.

Despite its longevity, La Fettuccina should not be looked at as a monument, it should be treated as an old friend, an old friend who cooks excellent Italian!


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