Looking for a prime location overlooking the beach this summer with modern Italian food, cocktails and freely flowing prosecco, all served with Italian style?
Escape to Tommy’s Italian.
While it’s only a short drive for us to visit Tommy’s, it has been a much longer journey for Tommy to land on our shores.
For Tom Torchut, the eponymous Tommy’s is a dream realized. Owning his own restaurant had been a goal that Tommy has worked towards all his life. At times, it seemed that everything was in the way, that is until 2021.
Passionate about food from an early age, Tommy worked in a local bakery in his hometown in Bordeaux. Although his goal was to be a chef, he took the advice of his parents to ‘work with your head and not your hands’, completing a degree in International Marketing and Law to please them. Passion won out, however, with Tommy taking a break after uni to travel, his parents appeased with a promise of his return. Tommy travelled through the US and Dubai, discovering the Gold Coast in 2011 and deciding to stay.
Here, he pursued his passion to work in hospitality but, rather than returning to the kitchen, he learned about front of house roles as barista and wine waiter, then manager of Gemelli, Gemellini, Howard Smith Wharves, Maya Mexican and Arc, his knowledge and experience growing with each new position.
University study, practical experience, on the job training and specific business mentoring have all played a part in realizing Tommy’s dream. For every opportunity that has been blocked, other doors have opened. Most importantly, Tommy met people on his journey who not only employed him but also recognized his potential and facilitated his skill growth.
It was at The Fish House that Tommy first met Ronnie Tarabay, the pair deciding to form a partnership and open a restaurant. The difficult part was finding the venue, he tells us. Eight months later, when the former home of The Beach Shack in Currumbin became available, it was Ronnie who recognized it as a perfect location and together the pair set to work. A classic Mediterranean makeover later, and Tommy’s Italian opened to the public in September 2021.
Oysters and champagne with a side of beach views?
Welcome to Tommy’s Italian, the perfect escape from a more serious world.
Modern in its menu and philosophy, Tommy’s is perfectly aligned with a coastal lifestyle. Clearly aimed to be inclusive, dietary symbols are noted beside each dish. This is fine food in a casual setting, a relaxed atmosphere where we can sit with friends and share our favourite dishes accompanied by cocktails and bottomless wine. Yes, that’s how we all want to live, play, relax.
Antipasti forms almost a third of the menu, and rightly so. The menu is full of the highest quality Australian and imported ingredients prepared with love, no corners cut. We steer away from the biggies, a 1kg T-Bone cooked to perfection or a pork shoulder because FOMO. Instead we’re grazing on delicacies, simply but beautifully prepared, a feast to share as we sip our cocktails overlooking the surf break.
First, we have a couple of Sydney Rock Oysters still dripping with salt water, dressed in a chardonnay mignonette with a squeeze of lemon to cleanse the palate.
Then we choose a centrepiece of excellent burrata made by Byron Bay Mozzarella Co, hand piped full of black Perigord truffle mixed with Italian truffle paste. We surround it with a couple of our favourite salumi: San Daniele prosciutto and Mortadella, accompanied by Focaccia della Nonna fresh from the oven to rip apart and top with the meat and cheese of our choice. Sandwiches never tasted this good!
A side plate of Beef sirloin tartare arrives, topped with anchovy aioli, which we pile onto crisp sourdough toast. It’s luxe finger food which could be a meal of its own.
There’s room for more, though, so we embark on mains, sharing them as well. With all pasta handmade in house and Neapolitan-style pizzas wood-fired in the Marana Forni woodfired oven, it’s a difficult choice.
Tommy recommends two contrasting pasta for us: Handmade fettucine generously laden with prawns, garlic, chilli and herbs, the balance of flavours perfect, and the famous Italian Paccheri pasta cooked to al dente, its arrabbiata sauce mild in chilli, well complemented by a mound of Stracciatella in the middle. As delicious as the pastas both are, a surprising favourite is a side, a plate heaped with Fried Brussel sprouts and pancetta, a dish so moreish that it simply disappears!
We put a sweet finishing touch to our meal with Tommy’s original tiramisu and Crème brulée.
Have problems with food envy? Then choose one of the set banquet menus to share with your group of four or more.
“I want Tommy’s to be the kitchen of the area,” Tommy tells us when we visit.
Highly accessible in its food offerings, Tommy’s is a great place for locals. The high quality of the food is dependable. You can visit and eat as little or as much as you like, a few antipasti to share over a glass of wine as the sun sets, Single O coffee, pasta and pizza to take away from the servery window, or you can indulge in an abundant feast fit for the gods.
Tommy’s is a place of dreams. With its red and white striped balcony seating, we could be transported anywhere, to a hillside in Cinque Terra looking out to the ocean or a café beside Lake Como. Instead, we are here in Currumbin, celebrating stunning seascape vistas all our own.
Tommy’s is also part of Tommy Torchut’s dream, borne of his love of fine food and wine and his desire to share it with us. Mission accomplished, Tommy. You should be very proud!
Tommy’s Italian, 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin Ph: 07 5647 6180 Open: Wed – Sun: 1:30am – 3pm, 4pm – 10pm; Coffee window: 6am – 12pm (takeaway only)