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Paesanella Cafe, Marrickville

For many years I have made regular pilgrimages to Haberfield in order to stock up on Paesanella's range of fresh cheeses. I even forgave them when they ceased making my favourite one, stracchino.

What I didn't realise until just recently was that the company had grown and reappeared in nearby Marrickville, at the quieter end of busy Marrickville Road, with not just a cafe, but a very well-stocked deli on the third floor. Quite rightly is is now called a 'food emporium'.

As if there was an improvedment to be made on all this, I was even told how to reach the very welcome customer parking, accessiible by the rear laneway.

Of course the coffee is good - hey, this place is run by an Italian famiglia after all....

...and the food is exceptional too. Here we have zucchini flowers ($17), stuffed with Paesanella fresh ricotta, dipped in a wafer thin batter, and deepfried.

The antipasto platter (serves 2, $35) was mounted on a stand and drizzled with a thread or two of balsamico. 'Serves 2' is an exaggeration. It served three of us with enough for a takeaway container of leftovers!

Star of the show was burrata, ($18) a southern Italian specialty cheese which I last tasted in its birthplace, Puglia.

It arrived with a sharp knife, and we knew what that was for.

This cheese, a money-bag of fresh mozzarella filled with cream, is made on the premises.

The cafe is at street level, airy and sunny, and was packed at lunchtime when we ate there. The staff are friendly and attentive and despite the numbers, the food arrives promptly. Near the doorway is a gelato bar which, if I forgo the antipasto plate next time, I plan to try out.

Of course we had to explore upstairs after we had eaten. The shop is packed with all sorts of Italian deli items.

Floor to ceiling fridges hold a wide selection of cheeses from around the world, and there is a cheese room as well for keeping other cheeses at the optimum temperature. Across the room is an equally large fridge holding Paesanella cheeses.

There are specialty items.....

.... and we recognised some of the smallgoods which had appeared on our antipasto platter.

Will we come back? Absolutely! I have already pencilled in two more possibilities when I can catch up with friends for lunch or a coffee (and of course stock up on my cheeses and deli items as well!). Maybe sometime soon, these lovely people might even begin to make stracchino again.....

Paesanella Food Emporium, 150-152 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, NSW, +612 9519 6181,, Facebook:

Mon-Fri 8-4, Sat 8-5, Sun 7-4.








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