What happens when you combine some of Sydney’s finest chefs with everyone’s favourite Italian restaurants? Pure bellissimo. Salt Meats Cheese has done it again, popping up this time in Gateway, down in Circular Quay.
In fact, they’re quite familiar with the space, which they co-ran with Shuk as Popina Kitchen. This time they have chef Massimo Mele (La Scala on Jersey and Hugos Group) at the helm, officially in charge of what will now be known as “Salt Meats Cheese by Massimo Mele”. He and Head Chef James Roberts (our Greek fav Alpha, Civic Dining) have put together a menu that’s pure Italy on a plate – and in typical Salt Meats Cheese style, it’s very, very good.
Salt Meats Cheese has always been about approachable Italian fare. Its focus is on flavour, freshness and creating an environment that’s straight out of Italy’s piazzas. Ok it’s a little more modern industrial than ancient Roman, but think new age Italian. Sleek and chic, the Gateway location is almost too cool to sit in the tourist hot spot that is Circular Quay but come on, how many times have you needed somewhere really good to eat down there that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Salt Meats Cheese certainly fills that gap. On a Friday night there are groups just getting started on end of week drinks (hello Aperol Spritz!), families finishing off an early dinner (yes, they have high chairs, and yes life goals, hats off to cool parents who take their kids to inner city restaurants for dinner), and plenty of date nights tucked into the dining room that looks down on the edge of the Quay.
Mele is no stranger to Salts Meats Cheese, having worked on plenty of events with them, but he’s made the menu his own, with house-made pastas that run a little off the beaten track (think a tagliolini with raw tuna, rocket and chilli that has a bit of a kick and melt in your mouth pesto and eggplant gnocchi we almost licked clean from the plate), pizza that take the Roman route of a thinner base (traditionally Salt Meats Cheese based are Napoli-style with a thicker base), and house made gelato that we challenge anyone to pass up.
Now, one cannot eat like an Italian without drinking like one. The Aperol Spritz are excellent, but so is the wine list, curated by Adriano Risi, along with some extra special selections by Mele.
Did we mention Aperitivo Hour?! Free bar snacks, $10 cocktails, $5 beer/wine between 5 and 6.30pm!
Salt Meats Cheese Sydney
Level 2, Gateway Sydney 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney
T: (02) 9247 6446
Mon – Fri: 12pm – late
Sat: 5pm – late