RE­VIEW

Grab your drinks from the walk-in beer fridge, take a seat un­der the disco balls, and en­joy daz­zling Ital­ian dishes from two of the best culi­nary cre­atives in town MR LIQUOR’S DIRTY ITAL­IAN DISCO: RE­VIEWED BY AN­THONY HUCKSTEP

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - 952 Botany Rd, Mas­cot, merivale.com.au.

Mr Liquor’s Dirty Ital­ian Disco, Mas­cot.

MY culi­nary heart was crushed the day dy­namic duo Jemma White­man and Mike Eg­gert closed the doors on Chi­nese eat­ing house, Good Luck Pin­bone. The BYO dive cap­tured the essence of why we dine out – crack­ing food, good times with peo­ple we like and ex­tra­or­di­nary af­ford­abil­ity.

With news of an Ital­ian it­er­a­tion of the Pin­bone pop-up – Mr Liquor’s Dirty Ital­ian Disco – in an equally unloved for­mer bot­tleshop at the Ten­nyson Ho­tel in Mas­cot, I was filled with a mix of an­tic­i­pa­tion and fear. Could they do it again? Would the Ital­ian al­lure match the Sichuan se­duc­tion?

Well, for the most part yes, but this is Pin­bone XL. Now backed by the grunt of the Merivale em­pire, there’s a bit more room to swing their foodie cre­den­tials. Mir­ror balls hang from the rafters and bounce colour around a room of wooden ta­bles, mis­matched chairs, a wall inked with car­toons and a screen play­ing fond and un­for­tu­nate video clips.

It feels like one of those home ren­o­va­tion shows, half-fin­ished, turn­ing some­one’s garage into a bud­get en­ter­tain­ment space – mi­nus the rusty fridge full of VB. Of course, there is a beer fridge. A gi­ant bot­tleshop walk-in filled with all man­ner of poi­son. Just peruse the aisles and place it on your bill. It’s all geared around a party at­mos­phere and gen­er­ous, big-flavoured food that flies out of the kitchen faster than you can say put­tanesca.

Crisp sar­dine fish fingers are bol­stered by sar­dine aioli. A warm, del­i­cate meat­loaf is sheer joy with butter pick­les; while peas, broad beans, mint and ri­cotta br­uschetta is sum­mer on a plate. House-made nduja is a light, creamy, spicy thrill, while tooth­some pap­pardelle in a pesto pow­ered by pecorino, and gnoc­chetti with braised lamb are both plate-lick­ingly good.

It’s noisy, fun and re­minds you why Ital­ian is widely con­sid­ered the most con­vivial com­mu­nal ta­ble on the planet.

FROM TOP Housed in a for­mer bot­tleshop, Mr Liquor’s Dirty Ital­ian Disco of­fers fun Ital­ian fare from the city’s most no­to­ri­ous pop-up chef duo.

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