Part farmers' market and part restaurant, we went to experience Italian dining of a different kind at the Danks Street Produce Merchants' 'Mezzanino Ristorante.'
Expect traditional Italian food fanfare, fancy drinks and marble food trolleys?!
- Setting & Atmosphere
- Value For Money
Setting & Atmosphere
There is something to say about the vibe of Danke Street Produce Merchants that makes it one of the most intriguing markets to visit if you are a foodie at heart.
Inside is like a little community of independent producers working together, showing off beautiful displays of cheese, hams, dried goods and more that makes it a joy wondering around the food displays and getting lost in the varieties of pastas to jams.
Resting above the European inspired gourmet food market below is Mezzanino Ristorante. This sun-lit, windows for walls restaurant is that perfect lunch spot that would also be stunning dining when the sun goes down.
It’s quite rare to see an open style plan mezzanine this large in Sydney and the enormous space has lent itself to a wonderful new dining concept: serving Italian food, yum cha style!
Yes, it may seem a bit odd to see these two cuisines cross paths in one place but by no ways is this a fusion of taste. It’s a fusion of eating style.
While there is an ale-carte menu of traditional pastas and mains, the real way to eat is ordering off the piattini menu (Italian for “small dishes”). Each piattini is made fresh, delivered around each table and in certain amounts to maintain each dishes’ quality. The pace is not a bustling street market but relaxed as you have one drink in hand with full view of the open kitchen watching the display of food rested on a marble cart roll up to pick and choose.
Since there is nothing *nothing* better in this world than cured meat, we left the mains for another day and decided to feast on the variety of piattini dishes that were available on the day. Pass the antipesti this way please!
From simple caprese salad to pâté and crostini, the dishes are a rotating menu and offers a bit of everything from olives to Italian-food-must-have arancini rice balls to fresh oysters.
The thing that I love about this menu is that the logic “simple but tasty” really highlighted the quality of each ingredient used in the dishes while eating. Interestingly, all ingredients used are also available downstairs in the marketplace which is a great opportunity to stock up on some new ingredients if you are feeling adventurous cooking at home.
Also, check out their cocktails for some interesting drinks like their signature Aperol Spritz!
Arriving on a odd weekday for lunch, the service was very prompted and friendly. The staff were very helpful, explaining how to order off the trolley as well as explaining each dish since some had no set name or would need to be made-to-order in the kitchen like the arancini. Not being well-versed in Italian cuisine, being able to take our time to ask the staff some questions came in handy when we encountered an Italian word we weren’t sure of.
Value For Money
For restaurant quality Italian food that also included a seafood range, the price was very affordable! Each Piattini ranged between $8-$14 per plate and as for the drink menu, the cocktails were not overpriced at all. Highly recommend for anyone who enjoys a little day drinking.
Where: 3 Danks Street, Waterloo
Contact: (02) 8123 1120
11AM – 4PM. 7 Days.
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