Albi brings more Italian culture to Cronulla

Albi's Taverna's generous portions of sublime pasta, risotto and pizza, partnered with Italian imported wines and sodas, will make you feel you are eating in the heart of Italy while a stone's throw from Cronulla Beach.

Chef Albi Cuni launched his career at the age of 13, when he left school to enrol in one of the leading hospitality schools in Italy.

There, he learned the roots of Italian and French cuisine and then was able to complete his apprenticeship in a Michelin one-starred restaurant in Italy.

Albi's determination to learn and succeed led him to leave home at 16 to travel Europe, working under Michelin two- and three-star chefs. This experience developed his concept of restaurants and catering.

In 2013 he set down roots in Australia, initially honing his skills under Peter Gilmore at Good Food Guide three-hatted Sydney restaurant Quay.

Albi's culinary wizardry and wide-ranging experience culminated in the opening of his first restaurant, Albi's Table, in Cronulla and now the larger Albi's Taverna, which opened last December to enable the owner-chef to host events as well.

The Taverna is a rustic, yet fine dining eatery covering 400 square metres. Whether for a romantic tete-a-tete, family get-together, soirees for groups of under 20 or parties and functions of up to 220 people, it's the place to be.

"I love the natural beauty of this area and the friendliness of the people," says Cuni.

"It is a booming area and I love the fact that we are so close to the beach. I also wanted to bring more Italian culture to the area."

From homemade pillows of potato gnocchi with slow-cooked lamb shoulder ragu to barramundi, mussels, prawns, calamari and scallops cooked with black and green olives and served in a rich tomato sauce, there is plenty to savour from this little slice of Italy.

But make sure to leave room for Albi's signature tiramisu served with chocolate gelato for dessert, or the creme brulee with mixed berry couli and homemade lemon sorbet. Buon appetito indeed.