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Chef- Patron Martino Pulito, raised in Martina Franca, located in the Italian region of Puglia, recalls Sunday lunch prepared by his nonna, mother and sister for the entire family to feast on. 

From just 10 years of age, Martino would venture into the kitchen, learning his mother’s favourite recipes, often consisting of just three or four ingredients that were easily sourced from neighbouring farms or seaside villages.

In his teens, Martino was working in the village bakery, attending school during the day and working evenings into early hours of the morning baking bread

With an obvious passion for Italian cuisine ingrained in his upbringing, Martino went on to hone his culinary skills studying at I.P.S.S.A.R. Castellana Grotte in Bari before making the move to Milan where he became Senior Chef De Partie at AFM Banqueting. Just eight years after arriving in Sydney, Martino has carved out an impressive career in the industry, with local appointments having included Senior Sous Chef and Kitchen Manager at Jamie’s Italian, Head Chef at La Vucciria, Head Chef at Pasta Emilia, and most recently Head Chef at The Morrison alongside Sean Connolly.  

Cucina Porto is the culmination of Martino’s childhood memories, a recreation of his family table for guests to enjoy as they discover dishes derived from his family’s favourite recipes and inspired by his Italian home region of Puglia. 

Open Daily

11:00am - 10:00pm

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ALBA restaurant was born in August 2019, with the goal of getting local people to taste and discover the real home-cooking cuisine from Salento, a beautiful province in the South of Puglia region, Italy.

We aim to do so especially thanks to our knowledge of the cuisine and hospitality, obtained throughout years of experience, but also using traditional recipes books which are dated in the early 19th century, as well as my grandmother’s handwritten recipes book that I still jealously keep.

In our restaurant you’ll be able to find unique products, such as coffee and typical dishes from Salento: “Pupu a pignata”, the “Pittule”, the “Rustico leccese” and many more.

Come find us in Newtown, hearth of Sydney, to experience an everlasting tradition of love, food and passion.


(+61) 452 564 625

Working hours

Monday - Thursday: 17:00 to 22:00
Friday & Saturday: 12:00 to 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 to 22:00

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Vannella Cheese was born in Conversano, Puglia. The southern Italian town is also the birthplace of our Mum, Pina Vannella. Our Dad, Vito Minoia, the head cheese-maker at Vannella, was born 15km down the road.

Conversano is also the birthplace of our burrata, a fresh, stretched curd cheese that is filled with creamy stracciatella and then hand-tied. At 16 years old, Dad (apprenticed to a cheese maker in Conversano), learnt how to hand stretch curds for this cheese the traditional way. Back then everything was done by hand: the burrata, fior de latte, treccine, nodini, scamorza.

Over the following years Dad worked in some of Italy’s best cheese factories, but he always returned to Conversano; at first it was to marry Mum, and later to open their business - Caseificio Vannella. Eventually, we, my sister and I, were also born in Conversano.

When we moved to Australia, we brought a little bit of Conversano with us - we brought the cheese. In fact, we moved our lives around this cheese, first setting up in Cairns to be close to the dairy herds and buffalo and later moving to the city, to bring the fresh cheese closer to the tables where it was being served.

We embraced Australia and Australia embraced us. At Vannella we now make a variety of fresh, stretched curd cheeses that sing the traditions of our birthplace, along with cheeses and dairy products that we have learnt from the people we have met in Australia. We approach each with the same care for quality and authenticity.

You can’t get closer to tradition than that.

Phone: 02 8216 1828
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