Inside Isola D’Ischia Island

Ciao a tutti!

All weekend I was already thinking about my next blog post, how it’s cooling down and which “Gem in the Inner West” that deserved to be placed in the spotlight … Presenting Isola D’Ischia in Balmain.

Ischia is an Italian volcanic island located in the Bay if Naples sprawled with hot springs, wine, fresh seafood, gardens & ancient sites. A popular destination for local tourists and even internationals from abroad.Isola D’Ischia is an undiscovered gem in Balmain is located further down from the main shopping area (going towards the water) surrounded by a calm residential vibe – this is the place where you can go for a nice, relaxing & delicious meal – all reflected by Ischia’s island. As I enter the place, the “underwater/modern/eclectic” theme is scattered throughout the restaurant from the medusa ceramic head, sea blues, images of Ischia and plants foliage. The restaurant staff are friendly and mostly from the Ischia region – hence they are well armed to give the real authentic flavour experience. Both owners are fairly young – one of them is the chef – and have created an achievement.Now I am proud to say that this is another “Groupon” voucher and the service was absolutely beyond incredible – very attentive, friendly and loved to talk about their passion of this region & the food they offer.

Upon receiving the menu as are able to select a antipasti each, a main each & a dessert each (plus one beverage). We decided that we were both curious about many dishes and decided to share each course … Fresh seafood is something that I truly adore! Being half Sicilian I LOVE fresh seafood dishes. So simple in flavours that there is no need to overcomplicate it …

Upon arriving we received a complimentary bruschetta (crunchy lightly toasted/grilled bread rubbed with garlic, salt & olive oil) topped with freshly diced tomatoes & basil.ANTIPASTI 1 // La Frittura di calamari // salt & pepper calamari with fried zucchini & homemade tartare sauce … What a delectable dish to kick start the eating feast! The calamari was so airy, tasty and you could really tell with the texture, shape & taste that the seafood was fresh and not to mention the batter wasn’t overwhelming … the zucchini paired so well and that tartare sauce – it was homemade and next level delicious.ANTIPASTI 2 // Zuppa di cozze // mussels with chilli, garlic tomato sauce, parsley served with bread … The combination of homemade tomato sauce in its bread dipping goodness was just delicate exquisiteness … the crispy bread cubes added extra crunch texture and the muscles were nice, generously sized & fresh – not over cooked or rubbery … and finished off with a sprinkling of parsley. MAIN 1 // Risotto carneroli // risotto with mussels, clams, prawns, calamari, squid & olive oil. This dish was just so flavourful and risotto simplicity at it’s best!MAIN 2 // Cala Cala “where the mountains meets the sea” // seafood casserole. This was seafood heaven & was borderline soupy – more so of a thick rice casserole. Rich in flavour it was soooo incredibly tasty & a party of seafood bursts.DESSERT 1 // Panna cotta all vangilia with strawberry // vanilla pannacotta top with strawberry … I love pannacotta and this is just an Italian classic with the invigorating strawberry sauce on top – very pretty & satisfies the sweet tooth craving.DESSERT 2 // Creama Catalana … My fav dessert from the evening! So similar to a creme brûlée – except it had a thinner crust & tantalising hints of orange.Inner Westies & Sydneysiders – pls look up this gem in Balmain … For really authentic Italian & delightful food … and a trip down Isola D’Ischia …

Isola D’Ischia Ristorante
191 Darling St
Balmain NSW 2041
Ph: (02) 9818 8841

J ❤

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