Get saucy at Teneriffe’s cheeky new spaghetti bar Siffredi’s
This year has brought an overabundance of unexpected (and often undesired) surprises. A lot of good has emerged from the chaos, though, especially as far as our food scene is concerned. Perhaps one of the biggest cases of setback to success is the story of Teneriffe newcomer Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar – a product of “redundancies and ‘rona” that is officially launching on Tuesday November 17 after a short soft-opening period. The eatery has already amassed hundreds of bookings for its opening week – here’s what you can expect from what might be one of the most exciting arrivals of 2020 so far …
Being made redundant is a kick in the pants, no matter which way you look at it. When South Bank culinary institution Stokehouse Q shuttered in August, it cast head chef Ollie Hansford and sommelier Aleks Balodis adrift in the uncertain waters of Brisbane’s post-pandemic dining scene. In situations such as these, it’s always best to search for silver linings – in this case, Ollie and Aleks were free to forge a new path in their careers. With redundancy cheques stuffed into their pockets, the duo decided to turn some lemons into lemonade and make good on a shared dream of theirs – opening and operating a venue of their own. The tandem reached out to long-time friend Stephen Overty (formerly a top drinks slinger at Stokehouse), coaxing him to swap his corporate lifestyle for a return to hospitality, thereby completing the brains trust for Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar. Named as a cheeky ode to Rocco Siffredi – a noodle slinger of a much more adult variety (we advise against Googling him while at work) – Siffredi’s was originally intended as a pop-up concept to help the team gauge the viability of its irreverent approach, which is all predicated on a sense of cheeky fun. Finding a short-term home proved challenging so, undeterred, the trio decided to go all in on a permanent space on Vernon Terrace in Teneriffe – a cosy spot at the base of the London Woolstore that once housed Havana Bar & Dining. A speedy revitalisation period saw Ollie, Aleks and Stephen call upon various friends and family to help transform the space, removing murals, prying off pieces of old decor, adding a fresh lick of paint, redoing the kitchen and installing a vibrant neon sign to make Siffredi’s look and feel brand new. The venue boasts a bright and clean aesthetic predicated on a colour palette of emerald green, pink and white, with a cosy interior space housing 16 high-top seats and an outdoor terrace able to seat a further 40 patrons.
While spaghetti sits at the heart of Siffredi’s culinary offering, the trio is eager to avoid being pigeonholed as strictly Italian. Ollie is eschewing the traditional trappings of Italian cooking, allowing himself the freedom to build his dishes around a concise array of flavours and of-the-moment ingredients using spaghetti as a blank canvas. His gastronomic artistry has thus far resulted in a menu featuring five kinds of spaghetti dishes and four snacks. Some intriguing choices include spaghetti with smoked roe, XO and carrot beurre noisette sauce, champagne lobster, pumpkin-seed pesto and stuffed zucchini flower, and braised beef tongue, shiitake mushroom and pickled radish. As for appetisers, slices of bread from Danny’s lathered in whipped macadamia cream, Ōra King salmon on pickled rhubarb crostini and oysters with finger lime and a dash of prosecco make for tantalising tasters, while the forthcoming addition of boozy soft serve will help end things on a sweet note. Aleks, who was previously chiefly responsible for wrangling Stokehouse Q’s lauded 600-strong wine list, is now working within considerably smaller curatorial confines. To compensate, Aleks has implemented a flexible system that will see a selection of 12 wines cycle through regularly – once a case is depleted, it is replaced by something new and interesting. With this in mind, diners can expect a mix of new and old-world wines favouring small-scale producers (as well as fun inclusions like new-wave bagged wines), though Aleks will also be digging deep into his own personal collection to fashion a secret wine list featuring premium rare drops for those that feel like splurging. Beyond the vino, the Siffredi’s team is keeping it tight – a small clutch of beers, a pared-back spirits selection (filtering into a concise array of cocktails) and non-alcoholic drinks from PS Soda and Strangelove round out the quaffing material.
Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar officially opens to the public on Tuesday November 17. Bookings are recommended! Operating hours and contact details can be found in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.