The Italian restaurant-bar oozes a careless sophistication, so it's perfect for busy executives grabbing a quick and portion-light lunch, or after-work types looking to chill out in a casual but chic watering hole in the CBD. Clearly, the small-plates gastrobar formula works here. It's been a year since the bacaro was launched, and it's still doing a roaring business...It's always packed to the gills everytime I go past it!
The food was, as expected of a Beppe DeVito offering, excellent. Just about every small plate we had was masterfully executed, and beautifully plated. We thoroughly savoured our time here. That said, I would have appreciated if they turned down the deep house music a decibel or two. Or ten. I could hardly make out what my galfriend was saying all through our meal, so we ended up shouting at one another, and my ears were still ringing long after I'd left.
Service, on the other hand, was choppy, distracted and frazzled. BUT, the attitudes were refreshingly interactive, and chirpily upbeat.
I think, part of the reason &Sons is such a popular drinking hole is the dazzling array of complimentary hor d'oeuvres. Ribbons of silky Parma ham and honshimeiji-capped cheesy bruschettas are a sure-fire way of keeping customers sated.
Of all the dishes, the best of the lot was the Calamari ($13), squid grilled so perfectly it died happy. Save for the sweet spice of the nduja-based dip, the soft rings were barely adorned, simply imbued with the smoky char of the grill.
The full-bodied Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($19), meltingly tender and moist, was enlivened with a creamy and aromatic truffle-accented aioli.
The Gorgonzola Polenta with Mushrooms ($9) was robust and rich but layered, a myriad of soft and juicy textures.
The towering block of Iberico Pork and Truffle Paccheri ($16) was countered with a nice bite. Balanced and nuanced, this was sumptuous.
The inky black balls of Baccala Cakes ($15), jammed with moist salted cod mash, were delectably crunchy. A lusciously velvety sea urchin sabayon sided this.
#01-19 China Square Central
20 Cross Street
Tel: 6221 3937
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11.30am to 1am;
Saturdays from 6pm to 2am;
Closed on Sundays