In late 2018, an Italian restaurant with olive trees, woodfired breads and next-level pasta opened inside Bondi pub The Royal. Called Totti's, it was an instant hit in the eastern suburbs. And now, it's arrived in the city.
You'll find Bar Totti's inside Merivale's CBD Ivy Precinct. Like its beachside sister, it has woodfired bread alongside an extended menu of antipasto plates and snacks — spanning twenty different plates, with sardines, scallop crudo, burrata, anchovies, 'nduja, octopus and baked tomino cheese all on the list — but, unlike its sibling, it's also promising high-energy party vibes. And it's serving up food and drinks till 2am most nights.
A horseshoe-shaped bar sits at the centre of the space, where the focus is on favourite Italian drops, including spritzes, digestifs and minimal-intervention wines. Sit at high top tables and listen to DJs from Wednesday–Sunday nights — or grab a seat next to the large windows overlooking George Street.
As well as the aforementioned antipasto, Totti's Head Chef Mike Eggert together with Chef Jake Ahrens (Ash St Cellar, Uccello) are serving up grilled king prawns with chilli and fennel, haloumi, honey and rosemary chicken wings and grilled garfish. For dessert, expect Totti's signature tiramisu and neapolitan ice-cream sandwiches.
Bar Totti's joins 1920s Paris-inspired cocktail bar Little Felix in the Ivy Precinct and two more eateries are still to come: a Lebanese restaurant headed by ex-Rockpool Chef Simon Zallou and a Mexican bar. It's the first phase of Merivale's 'Ivy 2.0', which will see the site entirely redeveloped — but that won't come into play for many years to come.
These openings coincide with the end of the lockout laws on January 14, the big Light Rail reveal and the City of Sydney's newly approved late-night trading plan, all of which are hoping to help revive Sydney's CBD.
Top images: Nikki To