If you are after a little slice of Italy in Canberra, you will find it in Mawson. Between the service station and dentist on Mawson Place, just look for the constant stream of people coming in and out the doors and a crowd sitting around the outdoor tables of Tutto Delicatessen.
One-part continental delicatessen and one-part espresso bar, Tutto (which means ‘everything’ in Italian) has been providing locals with quality sumptuous imported cheeses, mouth-watering European smallgoods and exquisite Italian pantry staples for decades.
When Domenick Colucciello purchased the business two years ago, he wanted to uphold the tradition of supplying quality Italian products.
“Being Italian, I have always had a love of food. Many of the products we sell in the deli are a staple of my heritage and it brings me a sense of pride to share this with our customers.”
Having worked at Tutto as an employee, when the opportunity arose to purchase the business, Domenick grabbed it. He has been adding his own touch and improvements ever since.
“The business has been around for decades and is well known to locals, so we are lucky to have a loyal customer base. On the deli side, my aim was to expand on what was already established and continue to improve the business. We began making fresh pasta, homemade lasagne, pasta sauces and tiramisu, which have all been very popular,” he said.
“As for the espresso bar side of the business, we also recognised the need to provide indoor seating for our customers during the chilly Canberra winters.”
When you enter Tutto from the street, you have two choices: head right to the deli or left to the cafe.
In the deli section, there are shelves to browse full of olive oil, vinegar, pasta, the ‘good’ mineral water among other things. At the counter is temptation. It is crammed full of juicy marinated olives, hanging salamis and aromatic cheeses.
At the bar there is coffee to be ordered, tempting pastries to decide upon, or a quick panini to be purchased.
As a local, I have ordered and tried them all but my favourite thing to order for a taste of the best of both sides is the antipasto platter. That way, I get to try and eat the delicious deli goods and enjoy the atmosphere of the café.
“The antipasto platter served in the café is a selection of the most popular meats in the deli, combined with some marinated vegetables, cheeses and olives. It comes with bread (which every antipasto should be served with). It is a simple dish that’s designed to be shared with others over a drink. It encourages being together, which is important in our Italian culture,” said Domenick.
For $20, the small platter is packed full of value and tasty morsels. Stuffed marinated capsicums, plump olives, freshly sliced meats and bread are all plentiful. If you eat it sitting outside on a blue-sky Canberra day, it gives you a taste of La Dolce Vita.
To enjoy the good life and create the perfect antipasto platter at home, Domenick shared his top tips.
“Keep the platter simple. Having a smaller selection of high-quality ingredients is best. Try to serve meat that is as fresh as possible. This will ensure they look appealing on the platter and taste their best. Serve cheese at room temperature and always serve with bread.”
Tutto Delicatessen is located at 142-152 Mawson Place, Mawson. It’s closed Tuesday. Check their Facebook page for opening hours.