On the menu at Isaac is a cannoli and baklava hybrid. If this is not peak Italian–Middle Eastern fusion, we're not sure what is. And this fried pastry dough stuffed with cardamom cream is only the beginning, or, rather, the end, of a well-executed menu at the Redfern eatery. With owner Riccardo Roberti and chef Samuel Bull at the helm — both with a wealth of Italian-cooking experience and a family-led passion for Middle Eastern flavours — Isaac seamlessly blends the two cuisines.
The meal commences with smaller plates that use flavours from both sides: buffalo haloumi with honeycomb and jam, and hummus with Tuscan flat bread. The mains tend to veer one way or the other – think lamb ragu pasta or Iraqi-spiced baked chicken – but the sides, like discs of roasted sweet potato with hummus and chilli labna, keep the fusion momentum going.
For the interiors, the team enlisted design firm Sketchlab. It is a sleek affair – deep timber, a concrete bar and white panelled walls – eclipsed by a luxe smashed marble floor. For a feast that has familiar flavours in confident combinations, plan a meeting with Isaac.
Images: Kitti Smallbone