Whether you like to play it safe with spaghetti or go crazy with casarecce, you'll find all your favourite pastas, fresh and homemade, at new Italian diner La Favola. Let the carb-loading begin.
Located on upper King Street in Newtown, La Favola has taken over the space previously occupied by stoner-food cafe D'Munchies. (Don't worry, local stoners will find another joint.) Unlike your traditional flag-bearing trattorias, there are no red-checked tablecloths or baskets of breadsticks. Instead, La Favola has opted for a clean and contemporary fit-out, replacing the massive marijuana mural with a white brick façade and a simple butcher's block menu.
So who's the master of pasta at La Favola? That would be Italian chef Fabio Stefanelli, previously of Cucinetta in Woolwich and Fico in Hobart, as well as Michelin-starred Cracco ristorante in Milan. Stefanelli's recipe for success is simple — six pastas and six sauces, and patrons can mix and match as they please.
As a general rule, you'll find lighter and creamier sauces, such as the carbonara ($16) and the seafood dal mare ($20), a perfect match for the spaghetti or fusilli, while richer, meatier sauces, such as the ragu Napoletano ($18), pair better with rigatoni or paccheri.
That said, there's really no right or wrong way to eat the pasta here. Hell, you can even go broccoli e salsiccia with fettucine ($18) if you want to.
While it's not part of the standard menu, La Favola also offers gnocchi from time to time and it's definitely worth ordering if you see it on the specials (check the restaurant's Facebook page for updates). Stefanelli's little potato dumplings are so light and fluffy you'll feel as though you can eat and eat and eat.
Oh, and don't be alarmed by how quickly the food comes out, it's definitely not Latina. The self-professed "fast food" restaurant hand makes its own pasta, sauces and stocks at the start of each day.
While the pasta is definitely the show-stealer, La Favola's menu also includes a small selection of starters — including a beef carpaccio with truffle cream ($18) and fried calamari ($16) — as well as a few other simple sides. If you only have room for two courses, however, make the second one dessert. You'll be completely won over by the cannolo Siciliano ($7), which is stuffed with a fresh ricotta cream made with citrus fruits that have been stewed for five hours.
As you can see, La Favola is not your usual fast food eatery.
Images: Trent van der Jagt