Il-Baretto, Surry Hills

With a new home to decorate and a new neighbourhood to explore, I haven’t cooked at all in the last three weeks. All my energy has been sucked into packing and unpacking, and my creative juices have run a bit dry.

What hasn’t changed though, is my insatiable appetite and quest for good food.

One late night recently, a very exhausted me was in serious need of some comfort food. Seeing as it was well past the peak of dinner service, Zen and I decide to try our luck at the ever so popular, Il Baretto, which I can now refer to as being in my neighbourhood! :)

Il Baretto offers no-fuss simple quality Italian food that nourishes the soul.

From a distance, we can see that the front of house is buzzing. As we approach the restaurant, the air is filled with a musical chatter of conversation. Generous dishes of pastas and desserts weave in between diners as we desperately seek an open table.

It’s not long before we are led inside.

Il Baretto has a no bookings and cash only policy. There are no tablecloths and the menus are handwritten. It’s warm and cosy.

Il Baretto, Surry Hills - specials menu

The specials menu features the most enticing home-style creations – homemade beef lasagna, spaghetti alle vongole…

My decision is easy. The pappardelle with duck ragu ($26) is one of their best sellers, and also one of my most favourite pasta dishes. Wide voluptuous ribbons of pasta intertwined with tender flakes of duck and finished off with some wilted spinach. The sauce is light yet creamy… sensationally satisfying.

Il Baretto, Surry Hills -duck papardelle

Il Baretto, Surry Hills - mixed leaf salad

We also naturally share a mixed leaf salad ($9.50) to balance out the richness of tonight’s meal. It’s a classic combination of lettuce leaves, onion, tomatoes and olives.

Il Baretto, Surry Hills - lamb shanks

Meanwhile, Zen has the slow cooked lamb shanks ($28) in tomato piccante with red beans and roast potatoes. The lamb is incredibly succulent and even delicious to the non-lamb eater that I usually am. The tomato piccante adds a lovely zing to the dish.

Il Baretto, Surry Hills - coffee

Too tired for dessert, we sip our coffees and make the short stroll to our new home.

View Larger Map

Il Baretto
496 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Phone: (02) 9361 6163

Il Baretto on Urbanspoon

Previous articleBanoffee Pie recipe for the lazy cook
Next articleChanthu & Jerome’s Wedding
Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.

Pizza e Birra re-visited I've been eating a lot of Italian lately because I've just watched the entire five seasons of Kitchen Nightmares. It's weird that I always feel like I don't have enough time to do things, when somehow, I managed to watch...


Thanks for the tip! Need to try that. I usually end up with the panna cotta!


Wow, organising a massive conference, then moving house? Crazy! That ragu looks fantastic, have to check it out...


Oh you need to stay for dessert! Their tiramisu is one of the best in Sydney :)


Aaah, that duck ragu.... Yum. The straccia on the menu also sounds amazing.