La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra

A Woollahra institution, La Scala on Jersey has recently undergone an exciting new direction with a more relaxed and authentic Italian dining experience.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra

The venue has also undergone a re-design by Annie Snell to highlight casual dining. The look is paired back with timber floors and fixtures adding a rustic look along with a sleek design.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Sleek Design

Executive chef Massimo Mele is at the helm in the kitchen, bringing to the table childhood influences from his native Naples with traditional dishes and modern takes on some favourites.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
House-Made Pickles

The bar, headed by Julian Serna (ex The Morrison) has also been revamped with a new cocktail list. The focus is primarily on Italian spirits and sparkling wines, with fruity and sweet flavour profiles. Vermouth Flights ($19) with a selection of house pickles include three tasters with Lillet Blanc, Noilly Prat Dry and Regal Rouge Blanc.

The wine list is extensive and showcases Italian grape varietals from regions within Australia, New Zealand and Italy such as the easy drinking 2013 Calabria Pinot Bianco from Griffith in NSW and a Sangiovese sticky from Canowindra.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra

The Australiano ($17) cocktail is a take on the Americano using Regal Rogue Red, Australia’s first native vermouth with mixed with Campari, house creaming soda and grapefruit bitters served with the ubiquitous paper straws. The drink is bittersweet and goes well for an aperitif. Zona Rosa ($17) is a much sweeter alternative made with Aperol, orange and vanilla syrup, lemon and grapefruit bitters.

La Scala brings to the table the ethos of tutti a tavola, shared dining Italian style with good wine and good conversations.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Mamma Maria’s Pickled Carrots, Goat’s Curd, Oregano, Mint

From the antipasti, Mamma Maria’s Pickled Carrots, Goat’s Curd, Oregano and Mint ($15) are mamma Mele’s recipe. Sourced from Martin Boetz’ Cooks Cooperative, the carrots, pack a crunch with a touch of acid that is cut by the creaminess of the cheese.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Smashed Zucchini & Garlic Dip, Fried Bread

The Fried Bread with Smashed Zucchini and Garlic Dip ($12) is simply difficult to resist. The bread is lightly salted, crispy on the outside with a soft centre.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Butterflied King Prawns, Oregano, Chilli, Lemon

The fragrant Butterflied King Prawns ($20 for 3pcs) are cooked simply and beautifully with oregano and lemon, and a gentle kick of heat from the chilli.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Grilled Pizza “Street Food”, Smoked Ham, Ricotta, Parmesan, Tomato

Mele’s Grilled Pizza “Street Food” style ($16) challenges the traditional pizza and brings the concept of Italian street food to the table. The dish is a standout. The chargrilled dough is light and smoky encasing a delicious filling of smoked ham, ricotta, mozzarella in a light tomato sauce.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Lumaconi, Spencer Gulf Prawns, Fresh Tomato, Garlic, Chilli, Basil

The aroma from the Lumaconi with Spencer Gulf Prawns ($29) seduces the senses. The silky pasta is cooked al dente, in a basil, garlic and chilli tomato sauce that is almost bisque-like in flavour. Crunchy breadcrumbs make it a textural dish and any left over fried bread is best used to mop up the sauce.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Pesce del Giorno, Fresh Tomato, Porcini Sauce, Truffle Potato Puree 

Pescatarians can enjoy the freshness of the Pesce del Giorno ($36) made with fresh tomato, porcini sauce, truffle potato puree.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Slow-cooked Suffolk Lamb Shoulder Chops, Caramelised Radicchio, Salsa Verde

From the mains comes the Slow-cooked Suffolk Lamb Shoulder Chops ($38). The meat is tender with a good texture surrounded by a thin layer of fat and the flavour is enhanced with the accompanying salsa verde. The caramelised radicchio adds a bittersweet element to the dish.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Crispy Italian Potatoes, Rosemary, Garlic

From the tempting sides, the Crispy Italian Potatoes, Rosemary, Garlic ($10) are a crowd pleaser. The potatoes are roasted in their skins with whole cloves of garlic and rosemary.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Polenta Chips, Parmesan & Truffle Aioli 

The Polenta Chips, Parmesan & Truffle Aioli ($10) are delicious. Crunchy on outside with dusting of Parmesan, soft inside, they’re good to eat on their own or dipped in the creamy truffle aioli which doesn’t overpower the flavour of the polenta.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Witlof, Radicchio, Pickled beetroot, Candied walnuts, Sour Cherries, Goats Curd

The Witlof, Radicchio, Pickled Beetroot, Candied Walnuts, Sour Cherries with Goats Curd ($12) is a light and fresh alternative.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Tiramisu “Modo Mio”

With tutti a tavola no meal is complete without dessert and Tiramisu “Modo Mio” ($12) is not your traditional dish but Mele’s creation with amaretti, savoyardi biscuits, mascarpone and mousse. Dig deep into the multi-layered dessert for a taste sensation.

La Scala on Jersey, Woollahra
Private Room

The new menu at La Scala on Jersey brings back the excitement of Italian dining. The food delights with flavour and choice and demonstrates how good Italian fare need not be heavy. The vibe is relaxed and casual, and by 8pm on a weeknight, the restaurant is nearly at full capacity. If you’re after a quiet dinner for two, the venue can get noisy at times with floorboards and bare furnishings but for good cooking, vibrant flavours and satisfying dishes, look no further than La Scala in Woollahra.

Photography © by Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

La Scala on Jersey
Open Monday – Saturday 6pm – till late
Corner Jersey Road & Melrose Lane, Woollahra NSW 2025
Bookings 02 9357 0815

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.