Who needs fancy? You won't find it at No Name Italian Restaurant, a local eating house in the back streets of Darlinghurst that's been feeding the cash-strapped and hungry for decades. The back alley entrance is rather ominous - just a steep set of stairs at the end of a brightly lit corridor. The dining room is just as bare - more like a cafeteria with laminex tables and a service counter where you place your orders with the kitchen.
The Chapel Street entrance to No Name Italian Restaurant
The standard menu is short and sweet: it's minestrone soup ($6), spaghetti bolognaise or napoletana ($10) or schnitzel, available in veal and chicken. Scratched onto the blackboard are the daily specials. Tonight it's basa fillet fish ($14), liver and onions ($10), pork chops ($13), steak and onion ($14) and veal stew ($10).
There's a cheerful smile that accompanies the delivery of our free bread and salad: thick slices of fresh Italian bread that we slather with butter, and a bowl of crisp iceberg lettuce drizzled with salad dressing.
We're grateful for the refreshment of salad when our spaghetti bolognaise ($10) arrives - a huge plate of pasta swathed in a tomato sauce with beef mince and dusted heavily with parmesan. A slice of butter perches on top -- probably a little unnecessary given the greasiness of the beef mince -- but let's not kid around. The main focus is quantity, which would explain the congregation of brickies stooped hungrily over their plates in the corner.
Veal schnitzel $14
The veal schnitzel is a slightly terrifying shade of dark brown, but it delivers plenty of crunch. A generous squeeze of the supplied lemon wedge helps cut through the initial oiliness of the breadcrumb coating. The schnitzel and spaghetti combo ($18) is a popular one in the dining room. You can add cheese for only $2.
Drinks are taken care of too, with self-serve water and red cordial available at the counter. All the red cordial you can drink! Cheap dinner sorted. Just pack your appetite.
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11/09/2011 12:02:00 a.m.