Retail Arcade, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Reservations: Direct : +61 2 9657 9129 or The Star : 1800 700 700
Osteria Balla Manfredi is a modern Italian restaurant in the casual style of Osteria from chef Stefano Manfredi, recognised Internationally one of Australia’s leading exponents of modern Italian cuisine.
On September 15, Osteria Balla , the new Manfredi restaurant at The Star opened its doors, signaling the long-awaited return of chef Stefano Manfredi and restaurateur Julie Manfredi Hughes to the Sydney dining scene.
“It seems like a long time since the idea of Osteria Balla Manfredi was conceived, so it’s great to see how everything has come together,” says Stefano Manfredi. “This beautiful restaurant really brings a little piece of Milan to The Star. “Balla is a true adventure of Italian food, wine and design.”
“With Osteria Balla, says Julie Manfredi Hughes , we set out to achieve a contemporary restaurant – to find a newness that fits with the times, a dining room which offers both conviviality and sophistication, but that is also fresh and fun.”
An Italian Osteria is typically a village eatery serving regional dishes of the local area. At Osteria Balla, Manfredi’s menu is inspired by his vast knowledge and love for the traditional regional cuisine of his homeland, Italy and his passion for simple dishes with a focus on sustainable fresh seasonal produce.
Finesse and an artisan approach are hallmarks of the menu, with everything made in house in the Balla kitchen, including the house made breads, pasta, sauces and gelato. Located in Sydney’s leading lifestyle and entertainment precinct, The Star, Balls is a unique dining experience in a spectacular futurist inspired space, with landmark views across Sydney harbour.
Of the cuisine, Manfredi says: “We are reinterpreting the food of our grandmothers, our mothers… Simple dishes cooked with great ingredients.
The Osteria Balla menu is generous, yet focused – antipasti might be cecina al forno, a chickpea and pecorino pancake, or crostini di funghi e lardo, ciabatta with mushrooms and cured pork. Primi offers include the traditional Ribollita, twice cooked bread and vegetable soup, whilst the Le Paste menu includes Manfredi’s much lauded gnocchi gnudi, spinach and ricotta gnocchi with burnt butter and parmesan, alongside agnolotti verdi, pasta filled with wild greens like nettles and borage. There is also a wide selection of seafood, meat and vegetables cooked over the 100 year old seasoned Ironbark on the Balla wood-fired grill.
The Balla wine list sits perfectly alongside Manfredi’s menu, offering anall-Italian selection. Italy produces every conceivable wine style and thislist dedicates space to little-known, exciting new wine areas such as the Mount Etna area of Sicily. Australian wines are also represented by an ever-growing and enthusiastic list of homegrown Italian varietals.
Balla’s by-the-glass program will feature a bank of 16 Enomatic argon pourers, so separate quantities ofsuper premium wines such as great Barolo, Brunello and Amarone can be poured.
The wine list is presented on iPads, set out according to varietals annd designed for easy navigation, containing information on each grape variety.
Named after the futurist poet and painter Giacomo Balla, endorsed with The Manfredi signature , Balla’s design was realised through a collaboration with Luigi Rosselli Architects and Frost* Design. Giacomo Balla was a founding member of the Italian Futurist art movement, of which Milan was a major centre in the early 20th century. Stefano and Julie prepared the concept briefs and worked closely with the design team across all aspects of the design process including the introduction of a number of Futurist elements and references throughout the restaurant.
The attention to detail in this 160-seater restaurant reflects the commitment of this design team. Manfredi commissioned Dante Marioni studio-blown glass lights from Seattle, and worked with local artisans like Lino Alvarez from his La Paloma studio in Hill End to create specific terra-cottaplates. Brian Hirst provided the hand blown, glass wine decanters and Manfredi’s own ceramics company, Ceramica Di Manfredi, added pieces to its range specifically designed to Balla’s specifications.
Osteria Balla Manfredi service staff is uniformed in Beat Poet designed Futurist “antineutral” clothing, inspired by Giacomo Balla, the restaurant’s namesake.
THE BALLA APERITVI BAR and PRIVATE DINING ROOM
The Balla Aperitivi Bar is central to the restaurant design, commanding spectacular views of the marina on the foreshore, the city skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As a meeting place pre-dinner or a fast tracked dining option in its own right, the Aperitivi Bar offers its own selection of food, including Polpo con patate, slow-cooked octopus with potato and Tuscan olive oil, Burrata con filetti di pomodoro e rucola, fresh burrata w tomato fillets and rocket and a selection of oysters shucked to order. A list of Italian aperitivi cocktails will also be available, including Bellini, Aperol spritz and Gin Rosa, along with classics such as Negroni, the Godfather and the ever popular Sgroppino, made with house-made lemon sorbet, vodka and a touch of mint.
The Balla private dining room can seat up to 20 guests and can be closed off from the main restaurant to provide an intimate dining experience.