Italian cuisine has an appealing simplicity that makes it one of the most popular cuisines in Australia. Italian immigrants introduced olive oil, pasta, pizza, cappuccinos, salad, and wine, all of which became integral parts of Australian cuisine. Italian cuisine has remained central to Australian dining, despite the influx of more international cuisines. Indeed, Spaghetti Bolognese – or Spag Bol – is the most popular family dish cooked in Australian homes – it is Australian!
So, it is not surprising that Italian restaurants are popular, and Brisbane has many outstanding venues. One of the most anticipated newcomers on the block, is Bianca.
Bianca is the new creation from Tyron Simon, Bianca Marchi, Frank Li and Ben Williamson, the team who brought us Agnes, sAme sAme and Hôntô. Located next door to sAme sAme in the bustling Calile Hotel precinct of Fortitude Valley, Bianca is a stylish yet casual Italian trattoria. The space is open and airy, bathed in peach and brown colours that give it a bright Mediterranean terracotta feel. The open preparation areas provide a great view of the kitchen team producing simple fresh dishes. It has all the hallmarks of a special occasion venue with signature crockery and glasses and excellent service, but is friendly, approachable and great value.
The menu includes a good selection of breads, including a sourdough with olive oil and balsamic, and a range of antipasti that can serve equally as shared bar snacks or as entrées. An entrée of fried sardines is generous enough to share, with fresh succulent fish coated in a crisp savoury lemon and parsley crumb.
The range of pastas may change regularly, with all the pasta made fresh in-house. Choose perhaps from paccheri pomodoro with delicate stracciatella, or lasagna with a classic pork and fennel passata, or a hearty mafalde with a rich earthy lamb ragu in a thick meaty sauce. The main courses including a huge 1Kg T-bone bistecca alla Florentina, and a generous porchetta alla Romana are best shared.
Finish with some excellent house made desserts including freshly churned gelato, tender Bombolini, creamy Tiramisu or fresh Cannoli.
There is an extensive cocktail and wine list, with both Italian and local Italian-style varieties that complement the menu perfectly, with a range a prices to suit everyone.
This is simple, fun, homey yet elegant well-crafted Italian cuisine served in a casual, friendly accessible venue that suits most occasions, and at good value prices. So if you want an affordable classic trattoria, with uncomplicated honest food, head to Bianca. Definitely worth a detour.
By Jeremy Ryland
Shop AM5 Ada Lane, 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
07 3063 7679
Open: Lunch – Friday, Saturday & Sunday; Dinner – Daily from 5.30pm
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