Relay races often hinge not on the talent of the athletes, but the important and key moment of passing the ‘baton’. When it comes to restaurants there are not many that can lay claim to three decades of continual ownership and passion at the pans. One beloved institution, Paddo’s Buon Ricordo has done exactly that. So when it changes hands – is there a revolution or revolt?
Actually neither! Italian maestro Armando Percuoco (good pals with Tets) has cooked with his protege David Wright for close to 15 years, (David even met his wife at the restaurant) this is more like Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Dining at Buon Ricardo is like stepping back in time, almost defying the trends. Tablecloths? Tapestry Chairs? Extravagant Art? White jacketed, black tie waiters who are over 24 years old and don’t say ‘dude’ or kneel pretending to be your friend with renewed intimacy. Dining here is like being in a classic black and white movie – it just doesn’t get any better than this.
A glass of the ‘Champagne of Italy’ Franciacorta Rose is a good way to start. The locals are asking if there are figs but we hear the gamberetti, school prawns and bottle squid have just come in. No share plates here! Portions are politely divided onto two plates in the kitchen so there is no sneaking an extra crustacean! The legendary truffle egg pasta isn’t moving from the menu and with samurai sword skills the waiter cuts the fried egg into feathery fine slices and tosses it at the table (we are not sure if the protocol to clap or hug him) its heaven on a plate. The saffron risotto arrives. Controversially we think this grilled cake drizzled with a creamy smoked burrata sauces and rich mushroom is the winner of the night. Mains of Antarctic Glacier 51 Toothfish is served with ring of diced tomato salsa followed by glorious melt in the mouth char-grilled spatchcock with lashings of herbs, lemon singling of Naples. Italian wine pairings such as Apollonio Mani del Sud and Zibibbo Terre Siciliane round out each dish.
Italians have the word ‘la familia’ – family. You’ll overhear conversations that show diners having been coming here so many years, these relationships have transitioned beyond customers. In fact they are almost part of the furniture except everyone is treated like a beloved family member. David’s best tribute is that he’s paying homage to traditions which are so loved but creating new experiences and memories for new generations to come. Let’s raise a glass to that.
108 Boundary Street, Paddington
Lunch Thurs, Fri, Sat: 12pm – 3pm
Dinner Tues – Sat: from 6pm
Closed: Sunday & Monday