Remember when Malcolm Turnbull suggested parents “shell out” to help their kids buy property in one of the biggest housing crisis Australia has ever seen?
LOL, not the best advice, Malcs, but I’m sure glad I followed your consult on your favourite Sydney restaurant.
I stepped back in time to when a dining experience involved sophisticated waiters in black jackets, bow ties and real know-how of wine.
Politicians, powerbrokers and celebrities have had many important conversations over oil drizzled buffalo mozzarella and heavy Cab Sav at this establishment, and their portraits hang on the walls to prove it.
The venue opened in 1988 by restaurateur Giovanna Toppi and although the reins changed hands to ex-Olympic Judo player, Nicolae Bicher, he has kept all original staff and signature house eats like the Spaghetti Machiavelli, a delicious pasta experience of kingprawns with mushrooms in a butter chilli and basil garlic sauce.
Machiavelli's feels cosy and home-like, like a traditional hole-in-the-wall trattoria you’d stumble across in the back streets of Venice’s Cannaregio.
House specials are planned around the two daily deliveries from Sydney’s Fish Markets - the Kingfish Carpaccio with capers and pomegranate is a starter we could see Turnbull and Julie Bishop sharing while chatting about how they’re going to dodge the next marriage equality bill.
The warm seafood option is the plump scallops seared and wrapped in salty prosciutto. Delish.
Then it’s onto the heavy stuff. I think to myself, what would Malcolm do?
Much like Malcolm’s policies, I keep it retro and go with the Steak Diane with creamed spinach and potatoes dauphinoise. This is where the old-school vibes flare up - literally.
There's a flash of flame as an expert waiter prepares the minute steak with garlic butter and Worcestershire demi-glace right in front of me. They also whisk the steak tartare ingredients tableside - something that doesn’t happen enough at Aussie restaurants.
Executive Chef, Laurent Cambon and his team make their gnocchi and ravioli daily on site. We hear from a friend of a friend, Malcolm likes beef cheek when it’s on the menu so we try the beef cheek spiral pasta special.
The dessert menu, like a lot of the pollies hanging on the wall, was full of big promises with a hefty price tag. We chose the classic tiramisu and lemon tart and although they were pretty as a picture, they were a little on the small side.
Luckily patrons would be overly full from the hearty main servings and no doubt colourful conversations at this point.
In a time of pimp-my-snack style food hybrids (we’re looking at you, sushi donuts) and hipster food trucks, the old-world charm of a proper dining experience can get a little lost in our capital cities. Thank goodness Machiavelli is keeping tradition alive. Thanks, Malcolm for the tip off.