17 January 2024

Bada Bing Dining Club hits all the high notes

| Lucy Ridge
pasta dish

The tortellini feels luxurious, topped with roe and sitting in a pool of lightly creamy rose sauce. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Retro Italian glamour has come to Alinga Street with Sopranos-tinged Bada Bing Dining Club taking over a huge corner location in the middle of the city.

I visited on a weeknight to try the menu for myself.

Walking in, I’m impressed by the old-school aesthetic. Bada Bing is operated by Rabble Group, which also owns neighbouring locations Al’s Diner & Deli and live music venue Fun Time Pony. They’ve become well known for nailing the vibes of their fit-outs and Bada Bing is a shining example. Warm wooden booths with ruffled curtains, mustard seat cushions and art deco light fittings surround the raised bar area, and the restaurant sits comfortably within the heritage arches of the Sydney Building.

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We start with cocktails: I have a deliciously bittersweet fragola cinotto and my friend has a zesty limoncello spritzetta.

I’m intrigued by an antipasti dish called suppli al telefono. My high school Italian can translate ‘telephone’, but I’m not sure what it’s doing on the entree menu! Our attentive server explained that these are snacks similar to fried arancini, but the shape and mozzarella filling result in a string of cheese resembling a telephone wire when pulled apart.

Wooden panelling, booths and retro interior aesthetic.

Retro vibes abound with vintage prints and art deco light fittings. Photo: Bada Bing Dining Club.

As big lovers of tiny fish, we also ordered two pizzettes (mini pizzas) with white anchovy and gribiche (a herby egg and pickle dressing). They’re a little messy to eat but absolutely delicious. As is the suppli al telefono!

We do our best to get a dramatic cheese pull, but in the end, the best thing to do is bite and enjoy. The exterior is properly seasoned with chunky salt, and the oozy filling is extremely satisfying.

Two small pizzas with anchovy and orange fish roe.

White anchovy pizzette with gribiche. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

We shared a salsiccia pizza and beautiful tortellini filled with scallops and prawns for our main meal. The pizza is topped with pork and fennel sausage meat, potato, gorgonzola cheese and rosemary. The base is beautifully charred, a little chewy and very soft, and the toppings are super moreish.

The tortellini feels luxurious, topped with roe and sitting in a pool of lightly creamy rose sauce. There’s an abundance of dill in the filling, which makes the dish feel light and summery. I also have to admit to mopping up the sauce with my pizza crusts, it was that good.

A very nice glass of Nero D’Avola wine pairs nicely with both dishes, and we also enjoy a bitter-leaf salad with a generous scattering of pine nuts and shavings of parmesan.

The dessert menu features an impressive array of amaro and grappa options. Amaro is a catch-all term for a range of herbal liqueurs, often with a base of fortified wine and generally served after dinner. They are enjoying a resurgence in popularity at the moment, thanks to the bittersweet flavours and art deco bottles. Most of the options are unfamiliar to me, so I ask for a recommendation.

In the end, I settled on the Cappelletti Vino Elisir Novasalus, which is divine, served simply with a slice of orange on ice (and yes, the bottle is beautiful).

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For dolce (dessert), we share a lovely tiramisu and I butcher that Godfather quote about cannoli (“Leave the gun, take the cannoli”). Regardless of what you do with the gun, I’d advise taking the cannoli because it’s gorgeous: the lemon and ricotta filling isn’t overly sweet, and the pastry shell is crisp and satisfying.

What else can I say? It was a good time all around. Bada bing, bada boom!

Bada Bing Dining Club is located in the Sydney Building, Alinga Street, Civic. It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch from 12 noon to 3 pm and dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm. Make a reservation on their website, or follow Bada Bing on Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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