Going out with my family for a meal is never easy. My dog has anxiety, my partner is gluten-and dairy intolerant, and my son only eats chips, pizza, spaghetti, sausages and ramen. So when I researched the Brisbane pasta outfit Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar, which caters for all my family’s needs, I saw the light. My Wednesday night, was going to be alright! Or so I hoped…
Arriving at Siffredi’s in Brisbane’s suburb of Teneriffe, my hopes were soon realised. Aleks, our host and part owner, greeted us warmly and made us feel as if we weren’t entirely abnormal. He seated us in a comfortable corner, my dog was relatively calm and my cloud of anxiety slowly began to dissipate.
Moments later I was sipping on a sauvignon blanc, surrendering to the balcony atmosphere of Teneriffe’s historic London Woolstores. Spying the arched brickwork framing alfresco tables, amidst a warm, late summer ambience of relative quiet, the night, I now thought, was steadily turning into a good one.
Additionally, my partner was enjoying a rose, my dog was eating his BYO dinner and Aleks promptly brought my 12-year-old’s main course of pasta with roast tomato sauce. There was atmosphere, there was service, there was booze and the pups were occupied….
Siffredi’s Spaghetti Bar – A Brief History
When I asked Aleks about the name – Siffredi’s, he told me ‘it’s not really meant for young ears’, or something to that effect. Later he told me Siffredi’s was named after the Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi, who is affectionately known as the ‘Italian Stallion’. “If I could take it back I would”, he said. “I’d call it The Spaghetti Western”.
However, Aleks, who is also Siffredi’s sommelier/wine snob, is only part of the picture. There’s also young Australian chef of the year Ollie Hansford and ‘front of house guru’ Stephen Overty. In November 2020, Ollie and Aleks pooled their resources, will and wits and opened their Brisbane pasta bar. Siffredi’s was ‘born from ‘rona and redundancies’, as their website will tell you.
Brisbane Pasta – The food
Second wine in, things were getting most comfortable and out popped our entrees – seared scallops with Thai spice, butternut squash and coconut; and two oysters served on a bed of pebbles with finger lime and nahm jim. The oysters were exceptionally good and as I switched to the ‘petit amour’ rose, our mains arrived.
I ordered the pasta with aged pecorino, black pepper and burnt macadamia. I was slightly apprehensive after ordering a dish with the words ‘aged’, ‘black’ and ‘burnt’. However, my fears were soon squashed as I slurped each strand of spaghetti goodness and washed things down with intermittent splashes of ‘petit amour’ rose.
My partner ordered gluten-free spaghetti with prawns, roast tomato sauce and mustard dressing. She was also on the rose, sipping and slurping happily next to our puppy, who had now flattened himself into the cool concrete floor beside the ferns in abject surrender. He wasn’t getting any pasta, he’d realised.
What we loved
The food was tasty and a new spin on spaghetti. I think this is summed up perfectly on Siffredi’s website, which states, ‘it’s spaghetti, but not as you know it’. I loved my ‘aged, burnt, black-themed’ pasta and thanks to Aleks’ recommendation and giving me a taster, I discovered an unexpected oasis in rose. It’s now my new summer thing.
My partner enjoyed her dish too but above all, we enjoyed the atmosphere of Siffredi’s, which really is a sanctuary for weirdos like us. We could also state, ‘we’re a family, but not as you know one’, although today that wouldn’t quite be the truth. It’s the age of dog lovers and dietary diversity and this Brisbane pasta bar has adapted like few others.
Additionally, Aleks was friendly, prompt and accommodating. Don’t worry about ‘The Spaghetti Western’ buddy, Siffredi’s is meant to be!
We’re keen to go back …
A few fast facts
- The artwork inside Siffredi’s and on its T-shirts (which you can purchase through their website) was done by Aleks’ cousin.
- The menu changes regularly, depending on the availability of in-season, local produce.
- Aleks and Ollie also own Rita’s Tequila Taqueria – a Mexican-inspired restaurant/bar located next door, which I’ve yet to check out.
- Siffredi’s has regular themes throughout the year, such as their ‘chef series’ and events such as ‘baja’ and ‘rice boi’.
Check out Siffredi’s website for more info.