Authentic Italian Made to Share
Regan Porteous boasts an impressive resume that includes Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred Maze, the famed Zuma and popular Sydney venues such as Toko, Riley St Garage, Tequila Mockingbird and Stanton & Co. Six months ago, the renowned chef and his partner Carolina Angelucci stepped out on their own, opening Osteria Coogee.
The Italian eatery is Porteous’ first venture as a restaurateur and is inspired by his multiple trips to Italy with Carolina to visit her family. The restaurant is located close to the beach on Alfreda Street and the large open layout is understated yet slick, creating an air of sincerity and authenticity.
Although he is now a restauranteur, Porteous hasn’t put his knives away just yet. Working alongside head chef Stefano Gagliardi, they have created a unique menu of classic Italian dishes, but with a twist. All your Italian favourites are there, but everything is made to share.
The White Tuna Crudo swims in a sundried tomato and pancetta gel and is really punctuated by the crunchy offerings of pancetta. The Carpaccio is made with plenty of Aussie influence, the veal is cured in-house with juniper berries and rosemary and is served with anchovy foam and subtle fried capers.
The Polpo (octopus, for the less cultured, including myself) comes with a sundried tomato aioli and those epic fried capers. This is Osteria’s signature dish and it’s easy to see why. The octopus is slow cooked for ten hours to ensure its tenderness. The Gnocchi arrives as dainty little clouds in a creamy truffle and porcini sauce. Cleaning this plate with some fresh Sonoma bread is strongly encouraged.
The Agnello (slow cooked lamb shoulder) rests in a balsamic glaze, giving it an element of sweetness that’s balanced by a generous dollop of olive puree. Dessert is a homemade tiramisu with real mascarpone. Regardless of how full you may be feeling, please trust me on this one and just say yes.
It would come as no surprise that Osteria’s wine list is extensive and some memorable cocktails are also created behind the central island bar. I would like to see someone take a sip of the Spritz Sour – vodka, Aperol, prosecco and passionfruit – and try to restrain themselves from ordering another before their glass is empty.
Other standouts include the Sgroppino Mojito with vodka and limoncello, which tastes like a well-earned holiday, and the Coco All’Ananas with coconut infused rum, lime, Tiki bitters, Coco Lopez and pineapple, which lovingly wraps its arms around you in a warm embrace. All three of these are great company and I could easily imagine myself chilling with these guys on Osteria’s balcony for hours on end. Sunday would be the best time for this as there are DJs on the decks from 3-6pm and all house cocktails are only $10.
Regan and Carolina’s first venture together is definitely a winner. The food is authentic, delicious and reasonably priced, and the made to share nature of the menu, knockout cocktail list and relaxed vibe means Osteria Coogee could easily become the area’s go-to casual meeting hub.
Address 31 Alfreda Street, Coogee
Facebook Osteria Coogee Instagram @osteriacoogee
Phone 9665 6797
Open Wed-Fri 5pm-late, Fri-Sat 12pm-late, Sun 12-10pm
Prices Crudo $16, Polpo $18, Gnocchi $26, Agnello $44, Spritz sour $16
Cards Master, Visa, AMEX