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Fabbrica Pasta Bar Balmain

It's about time Balmain's food scene stopped resting on its laurels — and the addition of Fabbrica has injected some verve into the village.
By Suz Tucker
April 05, 2023
By Suz Tucker
April 05, 2023

Let's be honest: Balmain spent too many years riding on the coattails of its glory days as the pub epicentre of Sydney. But its long overdue comeback is slowly taking place.

A sign of that comeback is the arrival of Fabbrica Pasta Bar in The Exchange Hotel on Beattie Street, the first official sibling venue to Fabbrica in the CBD and an all-new destination from the consistently clever and tasteful team from the Love Tilly Group (Love, Tilly Devine, Ragazzi, La Salut) who are behind a few of our favourite Sydney restaurants and best Sydney bars.

The Exchange has always been a specifically locals-friendly venue and with this new suburban venture the Love Tilly team has wanted to ensure Fabbrica Balmain stays true to those community expectations, keeping the street tables un-bookable to ensure locals can roll in and grab a seat on any given night.

But let's get to the food, shall we?

The menu features Fabbrica and Ragazzi favourites like spaghetti cacio e pepe and casarecce alla Norma — always dependably delicious. But we urge you to also consider more boundary-pushing dishes like tonnarelli with sea urchin or the particularly genius conchiglie with spanner crab and corn which is good enough to make any lover of big flavour get emotional. The artichoke fritti with Reggiano is also a must-order, a textural umami delight.

The wine list and the expertise on the floor are excellent, so all you need to do is ask for the most appropriate accompaniment for your dish or mood. But whether you're a local swinging by on a weeknight or you're booking in for a special dining experience within the heritage-listed halls, the presence of Fabbrica Balmain is a symbol of the suburb springing back to an exciting after-hours scene.

Images by Dexter Kim

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