Cecchi’s in Inglewood has been on my bucket list for several years, and I finally made it there for brunch a few weeks ago. This cosy Italian restaurant inhabits a converted house on Beaufort St, and has the perfect courtyard setting for brunch. Inside those courtyard walls you could easily imagine for a moment that you are in a little trattoria in Tuscany, far removed from the busy thoroughfare it lies on.
With my son Alex for company, we asked for advice from our charming and personable waiter, and ordered our meals along with a 5 Senses coffee for me. Alex was slightly disappointed that the slow eggs were unavailable as they were still cooking, but instead accepted the recommendation of the Pugliese sausage, fried egg, marinated kale and crispy chick pea polenta. This was a well executed dish with good contrasts of colours, flavours and textures. The sausage wasn’t the usual version, but a mix of lamb and pork with fennel and herbs that had been pan fried.
The hot weather convinced me to try something different; the yoghurt sorbet with berries and muesli praline. This refreshing dish was delightfully cool and zingy on the palate, and I loved the accent of the crunchy muesli and the freshness of the berries. I had to eat quickly though as it didn’t take long for the sorbet to start melting.
We were ready to try one of Cecchi’s special morning desserts, but sadly their much touted brioche croissants with salted caramel ice-cream were no longer on offer. Cecchi’s has decided to take them off the menu during the hot summer months, and will be offering ricotta doughnuts instead. However as neither were available for us to try, we opted for the apple pie panacotta. This beautifully presented dish came with a crumbly scattered “crust”, apple sauce and little velvety cubes of apple jelly. Although the panacotta was not as wobbly as was expected (and I suspect this was deliberate because of the hot weather), this was truly scrumptious. All of the elements worked very well together in this dish; it was the perfect light morning treat and perfect for sharing.
Our charming waiter informed us that an Italian bar will be opening next door later this year, and that although this will complement the existing restaurant, it will serve its own tapas-style dishes. This is something that is needed in the Inglewood area, and I am sure will be a huge success. I’m sold on the quality of Cecchi’s food, and look forward to returning and trying the evening menu. Overall this was a very pleasant experience, with food, service and ambience all top notch.