170 Grammi’s Carbonara & Amatriciana Pizzas: Roman Pizzas in Sydney

170 Grammi, Surry Hills

170 grams. That's the weight of the dough at Luigi Esposito's new restaurant 170 Grammi. These paper thin, crispy Tonda Romana pizzas are straight from Rome with some classic Roman pastas as pizza toppings like the Amatriciana pizza or the Cacio e Pepe. How do these compare to the Napoletana style pizzas that Sydney siders enjoy?

170 Grammi, Surry Hills

After establishing pizza restaurant Via Napoli in Surry Hills and Lane Cove, Naples-born Luigi Esposito is putting aside his Neapolitan pizza in favour of a pizza with his wife's Roman heritage. The proposition here is Roman style pizzas - not the thicker based pizzas served Al Taglio aka by the slice but thin, round Tonda Romana pizzas made with a resounding crispy base. Luigi presses down one of the blackened, blistered bubbles from a pizza that has just come out of the oven and you can hear the crunch. "Scrocchiarella" he says.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills

170 Grammi takes up the space where Luigi opened Pizza Fritta 180 on the corners of Crown and Foveaux Street in Surry Hills. Inside is cosy and warm but outside has puppies (win!) and outdoor heaters. Trays of house made porchetta sit on the counter alongside black Tasmanian truffles while tight little balls of dough await their turn.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills

Sophia leaves ordering up to me and I've already read up about what I want. It's the Roman style toppings on the pizzas which also happen to be the most popular and are the top 3 pizzas on the menu. These are inspired by the 4 classic Roman pasta sauces: Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe and Gricia (although there isn't a Gricia pizza). There are also the usual pizza toppings like Margherita, Quattro Formaggi and Capricciosa etc.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Passion Spritz $15, Schiacciata co n’botto de Mortazza $15

Although it is cold outside and I keep my coat on for most of the meal when I see a passion fruit spritz I have to order it. It's a deliciously sweeter version of the bitter Aperol spritz and very drinkable. The Schiacciata is a thin and crispy bread filled with thinly sliced mortadella brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I love how light and crisp the crispy pizza bread is and how it is the perfect vehicle for the mortadella. This also comes in a vegetarian with confit garlic and rosemary.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Trippa alla Romana $26

When in Rome, Trippa alla Romana is a must order. I remember walking far to a market to try Roman style tripe when I was there and it was worth it. Roman Style Tripe is slow cooked in a tomato and pancetta sauce and served with a shower of grated pecorino cheese, a dab of chilli and mint. The honeycomb textured tripe is meltingly soft and has absorbed all the flavours from the sauce.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Supplì $12

The suppli was Sophia's only request and I'm glad that we ordered it. These football shaped Roman version of arancini are filled with oozy La Stella Buffalo Mozzarella and sit in a pool of San Marzano tomatoes and grated pecorino cheese. The outside is so golden crunchy and the inside is cheesy and gooey that these are an absolute must order (I steal a bit of chilli from the tripe just to finish these off).

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Porchetta di Ariccia Pizza $26

There's a small pause while the pizzas come out. The 170g/6oz pizza balls are markedly smaller than the 250g/8.8oz or so balls that other pizzerias use. Luigi stretches these out until thin and flat before topping them and sliding them into the 1.9 tonne Italian pizza oven for 2 minutes at 260-280C/ 500-536F (to compare, Neapolitan pizzas cook for 60 seconds at 450-500C/842-932F). The first I try is the porchetta with a white base, pieces of house-roasted Porchetta alla Romana, smoked scamorza cheese, cubes of wood fired roasted potatoes, rosemary, black pepper. It's fantastically rich and generously meaty and perfect with the little blistered squares of tender potato.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Amatriciana Pizza $25

The next pizza I try is the Amatriciana based on a classic Roman style pasta with tomatoes, cubes of guanciale (cured pork jowl) and Pecorino Romano. This is a wetter pizza because of the tomato base but we both love how thin the base and and how it still manages to stay a bit crisp even at the centre. The thinly sliced guanciale is draped across the pizza and it is finished with Pecorino Romano.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
A’ Carbonara Pizza $25

The last pizza ends up being my favourite, just because I love rich flavours. The Carbonara pizza has a white base with cubes of guanciale, pecorino cream, egg yolk cream finished with black pepper. It's so rich and there's just the right amount of guanciale so that you get a bit in every bite or two. If you love a rich and cream carbonara pasta then I suspect you will love this pizza.

170 Grammi, Surry Hills
Angioletti Nutella $12

Alas the maritozzi or cream filled bun is sold out which is a shame as we had been looking forward to it (I'd suggest asking at the beginning of the meal for them to put one aside for you). There are two other choices: a Torta Caprese or Angioletti Nutella on offer and we go for the latter. These deep fried dough sticks are drizzled with Nutella and served with quartered fresh strawberries. They're very good and best shared in a group.

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried this style of Tonda Romana pizza? Do you like crispy or wet bases?

NQN and Sophia were guests of 170 Grammi but all opinions remain her own.

170 Grammi

428 Crown Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia

Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-10pm

Friday to Sunday 12pm-10pm

Closed Monday and Tuesday


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