An authentic taste of Italy at Si Baby

Published 2:07pm 12 May 2023

An authentic taste of Italy at Si Baby
Words by Ashleigh Howarth
Above: Salvatore Mazzarino is the new Head Pizza Chef at Si Baby in Newport. 

A third-generation pizza chef who worked alongside his father and grandfather in Italy is now sharing a taste of his homeland with Moreton Bay foodies.

After growing up in Naples - the birthplace of pizza - Salvatore Mazzarino is the new pizza chef at Si Baby, located at the Newport Marketplace.

Not only does Salvatore bring an authentic Italian taste with his traditional family recipes, but he is also an award-winning chef, having been named Newcastle’s Best Pizza Chef three years in a row, and voted best crust in Brisbane 2023.

Salvatore says he is excited to take the next step in his culinary journey at Si Baby.

“I am really enjoying working here. It’s a very beautiful restaurant… I have a good relationship with everyone including the chefs…. and the view out to the water is amazing,” Salvatore says.

“Making pizzas is not just my job, it’s my passion. When I come to work, I don’t feel like I am working… I feel like I am pursuing my passion.

“I started my job when I was 15 next to my father and my grandfather in Italy and now here I am working in Australia.”

What makes Salvatore’s pizza so memorable is his light and fluffy dough, which “has a beautiful taste and is easy to digest”.

An authentic taste of Italy at Si Baby
Above: For Salvatore Mazzarino, making pizzas is not just his job - it's his passion  

A delectable new menu

Following Salvatore’s arrival earlier this month, the owners of Si Baby have launched a new menu which features several tantaslising new dishes for diners to try.

The pizza menu has changed to incorporate more of what Salvatore likes to cook, as well as new entrees and fresh pasta options.

Diners will notice some traditional classics on the menu including pepperoni, meat lovers and Hawaiian pizzas, plus the restaurants signature pizzas - gamberi, carbonara, prosciutto and a classic calzone (folded pizza).

The four cheese pasta, featuring cream, provolone, gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella, parmesan, olive oil and basil is also special and unique to Si Baby.

Foodies will also notice crust dippers on the menu, where they can order sauces to dip their crust in. You can choose from authentic Italian basil pesto, tomato and pecorino cheese, and balsamic and olive oil.

Salvatore says his favourite pizza to make is a margherita pizza.

“A margherita pizza might seem simple, but it is also very hard to do as well. You need to have the right number of toppings on the pizza for flavour,” Salvatore says.

An authentic taste of Italy at Si Baby
Above: A pepperoni pizza made by Salvatore. 

Wrap your fork around new pasta dishes 

Damien Styles, renowned Head Chef at Si Baby, has also created a number of enticing traditional pasta dishes in time for winter.

“One new dish we have is the spaghetti carbonara which is a traditional carbonara with crispy pancetta, egg and parmesan sauce,” Damien says.

“The egg and the cheese get tossed through the pasta after it is cooked, which is very traditional.

“We also have traditional Roman-style gnocchi that has semolina flour instead of potatoes.

“We cook this on the stove then set it in a tray, cut it into pieces, then gratinate in the oven with the blue cheese sauce on top.

“I also add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top to make it go nice and crunchy.

“It’s really moreish, filling and warming, which is perfect for winter.

“We don’t have any spins on our pasta – it’s all very traditional. All our pasta is made fresh in store, meaning we don’t use hard pasta. Our sauces are also made fresh in store.

“One of our biggest winners is our mushroom risotto, which is extremely popular with customers.”

Si Baby has also included two ‘Feed Me’ set menus which are perfect for couples, families and celebrations.

For $65 per person, the Si Baby Classics Feed Me option includes wood-fired bread, truffle burrata, prosciutto, margherita pizza, pappardelle lamb ragu (for two people with a choice of one pasta), spaghetti prawns, rocket salad and tiramisu.

The Chef’s Banquet, which comes in at $85 per person, includes wood-fired bread, truffle burrata, prosciutto, mushroom and smoked mozzarella arancini, fried calamari, margherita pizza, pappardelle lamb ragu, spaghetti prawns, rocket salad and tiramisu.

An authentic taste of Italy at Si Baby
Above: Si baby Owner Andreja with Head Chef Damien Styles and Head Pizza Chef Salvatore Mazzarino.

Treat your tastebuds

To treat your tastebuds to Si Baby’s new menu, visit them at Unit 6/10 Lakeview Promenade, Newport.

They are open Wednesday through to Sunday.

Visit their website, Facebook and Instagram pages to see more of the menu.

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