If you’ve been to the amazing Cicio Cacio in Newtown, Franziska in Seatoun then opened, followed by Bastardo in Tory St. They are all so different, you wouldn’t have any idea they are related. We arrived bang on noon. There was a little confusion, as we weren’t sure where to stand. Some people were paying and leaving and someone else was waiting for her coffee takeout. Within seconds, six more people arrived and we were all hovered around the entrance awkwardly. It didn’t seem overly busy. The maitre’d Silvia seated a couple standing behind us first?! Um hello. She assumed we were just ordering coffees, but then swiftly seated us for lunch. She brought us the menus quickly and explained the dishes. Water was delivered.
Franziska, is described as a trans-migrant restaurant (cocina de immigrantes). The menu offers some bar tapas, starters such as empanadas, chorizo, provolone, Spanish egg/potato tortilla priced at $12, a beautiful selection of thin-based Italian pizzas ranging from $19-$27, mains such as risotto, paella, chicken, fish, beef schnitzel, pork ribs and meatball dishes, two meat dishes priced at $45 (yikes that’s pricey), and some lovely sides such as eggplant, beetroot salad, green salad, fries, broccolini and pumpkin -$7-$9. For me today, every dish had some ingredient on it that I can’t eat (for another 2 months) so we just had to park it, bite the bullet, order and eat.
We waited a really long time for our meals. We chatted to a lovely couple beside us in the interim and then the barista gave us the heads up, that our meals weren’t far away. The wine list was extensive. Most glasses were priced at $16-$18. Yikes, I’d rather have a starter.
We shared a lovely prosciutto pizza and the beef schnitzel. The portion size was very good. Silvia asked how our meals were going. I had to return our schnitzel as it was cold. Silvia apologised and said she’s get it reheated, however when it was returned, it didn’t taste any hotter. We didn’t say anything. This probably got cooked a little too early, before the pizza was ready. The barista then cleared our plates and apologised for the schnitzel, and offered us a free coffee. That was nice. Hubby had a mocha but downed it in one gulp as it was cold too. Oops.
The décor is bright with a mix of booth seating and tables at the front. I didn’t quite understand the beer or wine crates with an old suitcase, but I did love the old fashioned record player, playing some nice background music. They have another huge dining area out the back, with a bar. This extends to a lovely sunny courtyard. This would be such a perfect area for a private dinner or event. There were only a few peeps out there but somehow I didn’t feel the ambiance we had, was replicated out back. It was actually a really cold day and quite chilly inside too, so am not sure what their heating arrangements were.
Would I return? Maybe for the tapas, starters, sides and a pizza. But out of the three restaurants, Cicio Cacio is our pick by far. Despite their chalet-type accommodation, we’ve been four times and the food and service is excellent. Bastardo would then become my second favourite. Despite their “Fawlty Towers” service, the food is authentic Italian. Franziska is more casual with a Spanish/Italian cuisine, friendly service but steep prices for lunch. Perhaps it’s due to the real estate location.
Adios mi amigos. Arriverderci mi amici.