Life wouldn't be complete without these gorgeous girls.
Pappardelle Al Granchio (Pappardelle With Arctic Crab) - $24.50
This was Tien's order - the Pappardelle Al Granchio, described as "pappardelle in a tomato based sauce with arctic crab, garlic, chili, parsley, olive oil and shellfish stock". It must have been amazing because whenever we go out to eat at other Italian restaurants, Tien keeps comparing the pasta dish to this one, always adamant that Baia's one is better.
Risotto Ai Funghi (Mushroom Risotto) - $25.50
Our beautiful birthday girl, Anna, chose to go with the Risotto Ai Funghi, "pan roasted porcini mushroom risotto with chives, black truffle and cream fraiche". Having the opportunity to try a bit of her dish, I came to the conclusion that although it is nice, that's all I could really say for it. There's nothing really wrong with it except that it wasn't memorable. I stand by what I've said before in another post - risotto is a difficult dish to perfect - few restaurants have done so successfully, I believe.
Paccheri All'ortolana (Vegetarian Paccheri) - $24.50
Our girl, Alice, ordered the vegetarian dish, Paccheri All'ortolana, which is "paccheri pasta in a tomato based sauce with zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, garlic, basil and shaved parmesan". She told me that after having this dish, she realised that vegetarian probably was not her preference, but that apart from this fact, the dish was surprisingly quite nice!
Insalata Al Polpo (Octopus Salad) - $19.50
I really wanted to save the best until last. Trying to eat healthy, even while eating out, I immediately flicked to the 'salads' page of the menu, and picked out the Insalata Al Polpo, "pouched octopus with lettuce, boiled potatoes, celery, black and green sicilian olives, parsley, garlic and chili served with extra virgin olive oil". Having never actually choosing a salad as a mains before, I was highly interested to see what was to be presented to me. Firstly, the photograph above does not do this marvelous dish any justice at all. And yes, I did call it marvelous because that's exactly what it was. A generous serving, with every mouthful being splendid - I was definitely please. I encouraged all my friends to try some, and as a result, some of them wanted to return to the restaurant just so they could order this themselves! The olive oil based sauce had just the right about of tangy-ness (is that even a word?). The large, juicy cuts of octopus were perfectly tender, and the whole dish was absolutely perfect from start to finish. Thanks to Baia The Italian, I am now enthusiastic to try more salad dishes at other restaurants. I cannot comprehend how good this was!
Baia The ItalianShop 114 Cockle Bay Wharf Darling Harbour NSW 2000