Incredible cannoli, authentic Sicilian pastas and mains, and a very extensive and impressive wine list; Olio Kensington Street in Chippendale’s hottest foodie haven is the perfect restaurant for a long lunch with friends, a hot dinner date or a business lunch.


Sicilian-born, award-winning chef Lino Sauro (Gattopardo, Singapore) opened Olio Kensington Street in early 2017 to show Sydney why Sicilian is the new Italian. Olio Kensington Street (Italian for olive oil) is located in the beautifully restored The Old Rum Store with a contemporary, Mediterranean inspired indoor dining room plus lush rooftop terrace with views overlooking Chippendale for those who love alfresco dining.

Sauro keeps true to his Sicilian roots in the creation of all the delicious dishes on the menu. Keeping it in the family, Sauro sources his olive oil – the base of all his dishes – from the family’s Sicilian farm. Typical of the region, seasonal seafood, wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous are hero ingredients on Olio Kensington Street’s menu.


Sydney Social 101 was recently invited to dine at Olio Kensington Street and we were very glad we arrived with empty bellies. It was a warm night so we sat on the rooftop terrace to soak in the surrounds of the Kensington Street precinct. It was a Thursday night so we decided to treat ourselves to a sneaky bottle of red. The wine list is incredibly extensive and features wines to suit ever taste from across the world. With so much choice it was hard to pick which bottle to have but the amazing staff were on hand to guide us in the direction of a delicious Sicilian drop. On top of wines, the drinks menu also features beers, spirits and a range of cocktails from a Wild Rose Sour (Regal Rouge Wild Rose, Lemon Juice, Egg White, Rhubarb Bitters) to Pink Grapefruit Spritz (Regal Rouge Wild Rose, Cold Pressed Pink Grapefruit, Aperol, Sparkling Wine).

With a glass of red wine in hand it was time to make the hard decision of what to order. While we worked out what to order the waiter brought over a complimentary bread basket filled with an array of fresh breads to dip in Olio’s own authentic Sicilian olive oil. Yes! That’s right! Complimentary and delicious bread baskets with Olive Oil for all!


After much deliberation we were finally ready to order. To start we ordered the Arancini with primo sale cheese. These Arancini were some of the best Arancini I have ever had (and believe me, I have tried a lot). There were three large rice balls in the serving presented on a delicious red sauce. Each ball had a perfectly crunchy coating on the outside and were filled with tasty oozy cheese on the inside- Heaven! Other starters on the menu include  Charcoal Grilled Calamari, Charred Citrus Fremantle River Octopus with capsicum aioli and Chickpeas, and Wagyu Beef with cetara anchovies, pickled celery and mustard dressing.


For mains we shared the chefs special Bucatini with saffron, fresh sardines, wild fennel, raisins and pine nuts. The pasta was cooked al dente and the mix of sweet, salty and nutty made the dish exciting to the taste buds. We also ordered the ZUPPA Signature Gattopardo Seafood Stew. The stew was absolutely filled with melt-in-your-mouth seafood and the sauce was full of flavor and beautifully complimented the seafood- we were glad we had left over bread to soak up the sauce with.  Other top contenders for mains were the Homemade Ravioli with king prawns, black truffle and burrata sauce, the Homemade Squid Ink Spaghetti, and the Grilled Wild Snapper with sicilian caponata and pistachio sauce.

There is always room for dessert and although we were absolutely stuffed we made sure we made room for the famous Cannolo Siciliano. The wafer shell was crispy and fresh and was filled with a beautiful ricotta cream and served with prickly pear sauce and divine Bronte pistachio gelato. If I had room for another dessert I would have chosen either the classic Italian Tiramisu or the Semifreddo nougat parfait with toasted ‘Noto’ almond sauce.

The service at Olio Kensington Street was fast, efficient and friendly. The staff were always on hand to recommend dishes, top up our wine and even take a happy date night snap of us pre-food coma.

So if you are in the mood for some authentic and exciting Italian food that is more than just pizza and heavy, creamy sauces be sure to head to Olio Kensington Street and make sure you leave room for the Cannolo Siciliano.

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Georgia Dawes

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