Besser could be considered as the offspring of Sydney Italian dining institution A Tavola. In April of this year, Ennio Di Marco, Eugenio Maiale, Sandro Di Marino and Luke Randall opened the new spot on the dining street that everyone knows, Crown. The site was formerly owned by Billy Kwong.
Ennio explained that the name of the restaurant comes from the “Besser Bricks that our parents used to line the backyards of our childhood and thus helped frame the emotion we are trying to recapture of the friendly Italo-Australian backyard bash.” The bar is constructed from the same bricks; Besser is an establishment that these men pour their memories and love into.
It was only in the last few weeks that they decided to extend their operating times to include breakfast and without making too obvious a point about it, you won’t regret choosing this as your spot when you’re considering where to dine. We were served by Ennio during our visit and you won’t find a better host. Professional service with humour and friendliness.
I haven’t tried Rio Coffee before. The brand hails from Adelaide and Eugenio and Ennio have had ties with it since the 1990s. Well, I hope to see it used more widely because our cups ($3.50) were absolutely exquisite. The strong Italian blend features strong chocolate tones and is some of the best that I have tried in recent months.
The brilliant beverages kept coming. The banana mango, coconut, pandan and honey smoothie ($9) was a glass of perfection. The tall chilled mango-dominant drink was quite thick and will be on my wish-list again thanks to its unique, sweet combination. If this drink alone isn’t enough to entice you then how about the white and yellow peach bellini with prosecco and peach puree ($16), fresh juices ($7) or caprioska with lychee, passionfruit, lime and tonic ($9)?
Within one visit, I’ve come to love Besser for its simple dishes, executed exceedingly well. The eggs in tomato and basil ($16) offers two eggs in a rich and deeply-seasoned tomato-based sauce that (just quietly…) tasted everything as good as a homemade dish. It was just that good…
The luganega sausage ($19) is a long curled Italian sausage and this rendition is probably the best breakfast sausage that I’ve had and it was paired with a bed of spinach, a perfectly cooked egg (I would have preferred two) and thick, creamy and tangy hollandaise. Other than the sauce runoff which marred the plate slightly, this was an incredible dish and one I’d have again.
The breakfast menu is quite concise but it’s made of seasonal, organic and fresh ingredients wherever possible. These are dishes that take the owners of Besser back to their childhood and are influenced by their Italian roots. How about trying the meatball sub ($15), bombolini, vanilla custard and Nutella ($14), bircher muesli, apple, sheeps milk yoghurt and almonds ($14) or risotto, raisins, cinnamon, coconut, Jersey milk ($15)?
With a massive dining room and lots of sidewalk seating, you will easily find a seat at Besser and you’ll also be well fed and experience superb service. For such a fledgling breakfast offering, Besser shows more promise than most.
Overall Rating: 20/25
Website: http://besseritalian.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/besseritalian
Phone: 9331 1611
Address: Shop 3 355 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Payment Options: EFTPOS, credit cards, cash