Last week a Buddhist friend from Canberra came to Sydney to spend the long weekend. He was born in Australia, but both of his parents are Maltese, so when Saturday lunch time arrived, he suggested going to a Maltese cafe, 10 minutes away from where we were. When I asked for the name and heard those two familiar words, I smiled; I live nearby so I happen to know that Pastizzi Cafe is certainly a great choice.
We sat inside, on the table right next to the door. It turned out that our young waitress was half Maltese-half Uruguayan. She recommended us to get 2 dozen of mixed pastizzis but Mark (the Maltese guy) thought it’d be better to sample the two only traditional flavours they had: ricotta and peas. He also ordered a bottle of the traditional a Maltese soda Kinnie for the five of us. The waitress found Mark’s selection quite boring, but what could she do?
Kinnie is supposed to taste like chinotto, a bitter citrus fruit. Being a traditional drink, I guess we were hoping to find natural ingredients in its label, but nope, the three main ingredients were carbonated water, sugar and an artificial colour (those identified with a number). The fourth ingredient was a non-descriptive “natural flavouring”. I don’t like soft drinks and I didn’t like the taste of Kinnie but I was thirsty and thought that ordering water would be somewhat offensive to Mark. When I’m in Peru and foreigners say they don’t like Inca Kola I feel somewhat hurt, even when I don’t like it, neither.
The pastizzis arrived next and were delicious, as always. It seemed that everybody else liked the ricotta ones more; I found the pea ones a tiny bit tastier.
I practiced my patience taking some time to split the pastizzis in half and take a pic of their yummy stuffing.
That two pastizzis (perhaps plus a sweet pastizzi and coffee) would have been enough for some of us, but Mark wanted us to order mains, to get the whole Maltese vibe going on. The sensible thing for me would have been to order a salad, but in the battle between gluttony and wisdom the former usually wins. The good thing is that they offer entrée size for ravioli, the bad thing is that the first two people ordered ravioli and I felt kind of intimidated when the waitress asked us to please order something different. She recommended the pollo pesto fettuccine (chicken, pesto and pinenuts), which I shared with a friend. My other friend ordered the ricotta and spinach cannelloni.
The fettuccine was amazing, it has been one of the best pestos I’ve ever eaten. I wouldn’t have cared if there was no chicken on the dish, but the pesto and whole pine nuts were delicious. The cannelloni were very tasty, too, and I heard the ravioli were just ok.
To finish with a traditional dessert, Mark ordered three date slices, which we took back in a takeaway bag along with coffee, because we had indeed eaten too much.
523 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 1063