The Originals: It's all about the flavour at Roma Pizza

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PASSION FOR FOOD: The Roma Pizza restaurant team in the kitchen where dishes are prepared with love.

PASSION FOR FOOD: The Roma Pizza restaurant team in the kitchen where dishes are prepared with love.

At Roma Pizza Restaurant in South Hurstville it's all about fresh, organic delicious food.

A family business since 1960 it started life as a milk bar on the other side of town and gradually evolved into an eatery with a reputation for serving traditional Italian cuisine.

Managing director Saverio Russo said his parents took over in 1984 "having arrived fresh from Italy".

Although their English was limited, their diners came to love their food and supported their business by returning with their families over and again.

The restaurant made the move to South Hurstville when development changed the flow of traffic along Forest Road.

"By moving to South Hurstville it provided a fresh outlook and we really enjoyed the warmth of our customers which we are still fortunate to experience today," Mr Russo said.

"The region has a strong community feel which is great for a little business like ours. The locals are supportive and get what we are bringing to their family."

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The restaurant serves Southern Italian food (Cucina Povera) and uses seasonal produce grown by three dedicated organic farmers. "The flavour begins at the farm and not the recipe," Mr Russo said.

"When you can leave a tomato to ripen on the plant - and not in the box - that's when the magic happens."

Another exciting development for the restaurant has been the creation of their own organic Australian-made passata.

"The passata - which is the tomato sauce - is the lifeblood of Southern Italian cuisine," Mr Russo said.

"When you get this right you have replicated what people in Calabria did many moons ago before the aid of preservatives to keep the food alive. "I believe our health today is predominantly because of how we grow our food.

"Our customers are also very patient, as we do not concentrate on how quick a meal can be cooked, or keeping the costs down by buying lots of imported ingredients.

"No, we simply enjoy cooking and we let our passion dictate our direction. If you enjoy what you are doing, you never want to leave it."

Roma Pizza Restaurant is at 66 Connells Point Road, South Hurstville. Details: phone 9547 2918.