When Italian Street Kitchen first arrived in Brisbane in 2017, its menu doubled as a curated compendium of Italian street food served in a laid-back and casual manner. Its Gasworks locale was geared towards informal gatherings and easygoing outings – think leisurely lunches and impromptu sipping and snacking sessions. This easygoing approachability still underpins Italian Street Kitchen’s ethos and appeal, but something has changed between the opening of ISK Gasworks and the team’s new location at West Village. The menus across ISK’s Queensland and New South Wales locations were revamped to provide a more thorough account of regional Italian delicacies – we’re talking established classics and exciting contemporary additions made with authentic techniques and ingredients. These inspirations are courtesy of ISK’s muse and patron chef Isabella – a Roman-born gastronome whose indelible mark is now visible across ISK’s menu, venue design and identity. The team’s new restaurant – Italian Street Kitchen by Isabella – is a more substantial endeavour than its Newstead-based predecessor. Its spacious location, which occupies a corner portion of newly build addition The Eaves, boasts a mixture of indoor and outdoor settings that afford breezy vantage points of West Village’s lush green spaces The Common and Mollison Park. Aesthetically, ISK by Isabella is reminiscent of several styles of quintessential Italian dining spots – part street cafe, part beach bar and part home kitchen. ISK’s fit-out, envisioned by Design Partnership Australia and executed by Lowry Group, boasts a material palette of concrete, timber and tiles, with a lengthy wooden banquette, a scattering of small and large tables, and a small cluster of bar stools offering a variety of spots to perch. Decorative touches like hanging planter pots and an assortment of framed photos documenting ISK’s history and Isabella’s own travels help create a lived-in feel reminiscent of your nonna’s home (if it came with a gigantic woodfired pizza oven and fully stocked bar).
The fare at Italian Street Kitchen by Isabella is crafted on a solid foundation of ingredients. In the kitchen you’ll spot bags of stone-ground flour from northern Italy (developed in collaboration with Le 5 Stagioni), with different varieties used for ISK’s pasta and pizza bases. San Marzano tomatoes and pecorino cheese from Sardinia are also imported, adding an authentic touch to the flavour profile of ISK’s signature dishes. The menu allows diners to travel across the width and breadth of Italy’s varied food regions, stamping one’s culinary passport across a selection of antipasti, pizza, pasta, mains, salads and sides, and desserts. Versatility is core to ISK’s range, allowing guests to choose their own adventure when it comes to how they dine. Stopping in for a snack and a spritz? Order a round of Sicilian-style arancini norma, Apulian panzerotto (fried pizza dough folded over mortadella, mozzarella and pecorino cheese), meatballs in sugo, or try a bit of everything with Isabella’s signature antipasti platter. If you’re dining with pals, split a selection of pizzas or hoard your own plate of pasta. Naples-style rigatoni pomodoro, Tuscan lamb casarecce, Lombardy-inspired butternut pumpkin ravioli or spaghetti with garlic prawns (a Venetian specialty) are dynamo choices. Large plates like bistecca alla Fiorentina, Ariccian-style porchetta, chicken Milanese and pesce acqua pazza (an Amalfi-inspired mix of pan-fried snapper, mussels and lobster stock) will conquer sizeable hunger pangs, but be sure to save room for sweets – ISK’s must-try traditional tiramisu is delightfully decadent. ISK’s relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for aperitivo hour, which is great, because the beverage menu is loaded with befitting libations. In addition to some inventive signature concoctions, ISK’s bar team also whips up regionally inspired twists on the spritz, a range of classic Italian cocktails and even a trio of non-alcoholic options. The wine list features dozens of bottles to choose from, too, including Italian drops and similar expressions made using Australian grapes.
Italian Street Kitchen by Isabella is open to the public! The venue’s operating hours, menu details and other important information can be found in our Stumble Guide.