Summer is served with light and luscious menu at Cucina Porto

Hurrah! Summer has arrived in Sydney, bringing cravings for super fresh seasonal food served simply. Look no further than Cucina Porto at The Star Sydney, where Executive Chef Martino Pulito shares dishes inspired by his childhood memories from Puglia. He is passionate about maximising the use of local ingredients with unfussy preparations, allowing the natural flavours of high quality food to speak for itself.

Located opposite the Lyric Theatre, the restaurant is designed as a relaxed, open style with a mix of plush banquettes and rattan style seating. The smart casual venue is elegant and understated, allowing the food and friendly service to shine. 

Unfortunately, we often find Prosecco in Australia leans towards the sweet or bland side, but not so at Cucina Porto. Enjoy a fresh crisp Venetian Prosecco that immediately transports you to fond memories of Italian holidays whilst you peruse the new Spring/Summer menu. It also happens to make the perfect aperitivo partner for a selection of delicate calamari, salami and instagrammably tearable stone baked bread with homemade black olive tapenade. Delicioso!

Summer pretty much equals Burrata in our book, and this one has all the gorgeous creamy oozy goodness we love, but is uniquely served with an excellent pistachio-based pesto and nduja crumb giving it extra oomph. Pro tip: given it is considered impolite to lick your plate (!), make sure you save some of the sensational bread to mop it up with.

The absolute must-try dish is the one that Chef Martino created for his recent wedding – Cavatelli pasta with prawns, pureed cannellini beans, rocket and tomato confit. It is a spicy and robust yet light sauce featuring delicate prawns that speaks to it’s rustic origins. In fact, Chef Martino has even kindly shared this very special and personal recipe with us (see below).

There are several mains to choose from and we particularly enjoyed the Veal cutlet classically prepared with gremolata and parmesan. It paired beautifully with the light and luscious broccolini with almonds and peperoncino – the perfect trifecta of ingredients! The wine list is a tightly curated selection of reasonably priced Italian wines that leans towards the lighter side so is a perfect match for the summery vibes.

Proudly serving uncomplicated dishes with fresh, seasonal food that is a perfect marriage of Italian heritage and Australian produce that allows the flavours to shine. Despite their location, they don’t do a theatre menu, but you can let them know if you are time-bound. Otherwise, we recommend taking a leisurely gastronomic stroll through Italy – Buon appetito!

Cucina Porto
The Star Sydney, Level G, Harbourside, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Opening Hours: Lunch: 12.00 to 3.00pm, Dinner: 5.00 to 10.00pm

Wedding Cavatelli Recipe

●80g cannellini beans●100g prawns●10g long chillies, sliced●10ml brandy●10g butter●10g shaved fennel●10g confit cherry tomatoes●150g prawn bisque●150g tomato sauce●150g cavatelli pasta●40g baby rocket●5g gremolata●Spicy crumb mix, as needed●Lemon zest/juice, as needed

1.Soak the dry cannellini beans overnight in water, then cook until soft.
2.Put the cannellini beans in a blender and blend at full speed, using a bit of oil to emulsify. Season well with salt and a bit of lemon juice. Set aside.
3.In a pan, sauté the chillies and prawns with a bit of oil. Add brandy to the pan to flambé.
4.Add the fresh shaved fennel, tomato sauce and prawn bisque.
5.Add butter and reduce slightly to intensify the flavour.
6.Dip the freshly-made cavatelli pasta in boiling, salted water for three minutes. Or, if using dried pasta, cook your pasta according to the packaging.
7.Once your pasta is cooked al dente, strain the water and add the pasta to your prawn mixture in the pan. Add the gremolata and rocket and combine gently.
8.Adjust the seasoning and acidity with a bit of lemon juice

About the author

Having wined, dined and socialised her way around the world, Kelly now calls Sydney home and loves to share her discoveries – lucky us! Most often found with a glass of champagne in her hand, something delicious to eat in front of her and telling a tall tale.


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