REVIEW: ACME

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

I tried baking my own bread once. As I ate it, a solid 400 hours after I started the recipe, I thought to myself “I will never try this again”. As much as I love home baked bread, I love the spare time that comes with not baking it myself infinitely more. This embarrassingly lazy philosophy applies tenfold when it comes to making my own pasta. I would sooner eat the thick dust layer which has accumulated on top of my never-used pasta maker than I would even consider opening its box.

Thankfully there are people in the world who are really doing their bit, making pastas of all shapes and sizes from scratch so that losers like you and me can live the luxurious life we don’t deserve. One of these good souls is Mitch Orr, who you’ll find in the kitchen at ACME, the newest restaurant on the last corner of Bayswater Road.

ACME is a joint venture, an acronym started by four friends (Andy, Cam, Mitch and Ed) who you’ve probably seen behind the bar, in the kitchen or serving you coffee at various restaurants and bars around Sydney. Mitch in particular has jumped from kitchen to kitchen since his days at Duke Bistro, honing his pasta skills during stints at 121 BC and Buzo, where his monthly pasta degustations became the stuff of stomach-aching legend.

Some of the dishes from those degs have made their way onto the ACME menu, which contains seven pasta mains, each using a different type of perfectly made pasta. Stand outs include linguine with black garlic and burnt chilli, which tastes like an homage to mi goreng, clearly the height of luxury that all noodle dishes should be compared to. Also fantastic is the rich goat, nduja and olive ragu with wholemeal bucatini, and the malloreddus, which makes up for how hard it is to pronounce by being paired with prawn and old bay seasoning.

Before you even get to the pasta, make sure you order a few pieces of rockmelon and prosciutto, which elevates a simple Italian staple by coating the rockmelon in a dehydrated prosciutto crumb. It sounds fancy, but you still eat it with your fingers, just like you do the baloney sandwich – a fresh baked potato roll stuffed with mortadella and a terrific relish – and what is probably the best dish on the whole menu, the asparagus with brown butter. Just try not to lick the plate once you run out of asparagus. At the other end of the menu are three desserts, one has bacon, another hazelnut and the final a nashi pear sorbet, covered in rosemary meringue and the perfect cleanser after a heavy meal.

The drinks menu keeps it simple too, a few beers and champagnes, a changing selection of well chosen local and imported wines and four cocktails, one sweet with yuzu and shiso, another heavy with mezcal and lemonade. Best is the refreshing celery with rye whiskey and soda.

Service is friendly and personal, open like the ACME space itself. You can see right in to the kitchen and watch Mitch check Instagram as you eat your meal. The fit out is simple and stylish, welcoming and clean.

ACME is the perfect place for those of us who can’t be bothered to make their own pasta from scratch. Unfortunately, for those of us who can’t even be bothered to go out, they don’t offer home delivery yet.

Where
60 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay

When
Tues-Sat 5-10pm

How much
$12-$24 for a bowl of incredibly good pasta

Contact
02 8068 0932

Related links
Acme website

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