Palermo, Sicily best places to eat: Seven dishes you must try

Seven dishes to try according to Lino Sauro, executive chef and co-owner of Olio Kensington Street, Chippendale.

BUCATINI WITH SARDINES

Bucatini with sardines is the melting pot of Mediterranean food with influences from as far as the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and, of course, Sicily. It's a polarising dish, you either love it or you hate it. For me, the strength of the sardines, saffron and raisins put together is mind blowing.

Try at the La Vucciria Market, Piazza San Domenico.

PANI CA MEUSA

This street food dish is exclusive to the tradition of Palermo, literally meaning 'bread with spleen' and consisting of soft loaf, sprinkled sesames and stuffed with pieces of spleen and veal lung. Not something you can find in restaurants, Nino U'Ballerino has the most delicious I've ever tasted.

See www.ninouballerino.it

PANE E PANNELLE

I love this dish as it takes me back to afternoon snacks with friends, or a supper after a long day in the kitchen – it is chickpea fritters served between bread like a sandwich. My favourite pairing of Pannelle is with caviar found at the Ballarò Street Market in the Albergheria District.

INVOLTINI SICILIANI

I have been fascinated by these 'Sicilian rolls' since I was a little boy. How these tiny slices of veal steaks roll up all the goodness of Palermo. We would pair it with pecorino cheese, raisins, hardboiled eggs and any other vegetables. The best place to find it, hands down, is Feudo Arancio.

See www.feudoarancio.it

TIMBALLO DI ANELLETI

Glorious for the winter chills, this dish always reminds me of the festival season surrounded by loved ones. Best shared with a big group, it is Sicily's version of a 'pasta bake'. Try it at Trattoria Sant'Anna.

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See www.trattoriasantanna.it

BRIOCHE WITH GELATO

A sweet milk bread roll you can fill with as many ice cream flavours as you want. This is my signature dessert dish at Olio and brings me all the warm feelings of growing up in Sicily. My top pick in Palermo is the most unassuming place, Brioscia San Lorenzo.

See www.brioscia.it

BLACK HOG TAGLIATELLE RAGOUT

This dish is made by a very good friend of mine in Gangi, Santo Spitale who owns the Trattoria, Sant'Anna. It is special to the region as the black hog lives on in the Gangi mountain area in Palermo.

Sicilian-born Lino Sauro's Singapore restaurant Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare was a huge success. In 2016 he was awarded at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence. He's now head chef at Olio Kensington Street in Sydney. Throughout 2018, Lino Sauro will be part of Four Hands Events which pair Kensington Street's resident chefs with a succession of acclaimed visiting chefs at The Private Kitchen in the Old Rum Store on Kensington Street, Chippendale. See kensingtonstreet.com.au; olio.kensingtonstreet.com.au

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