I always worry about bar seating - I love the theatre and being in the thick of things but often it's uncomfortable. At Ibla, I'm pleased to say the stools are comfortable and there's a ledge to perch the feet. There are no handbag or coat hooks but our bits and bobs were kindly stored somewhere else for us.
We decided to share our food and started off with the risotto on the specials board. Described as risotto with zucchini, clams, mussels, tuna and swordfish, it was a tasty seafood medley. There were also big chunks of prawn that weren't mentioned but we didn't see any zucchini although it may have melted down. The tuna was easy to miss being tiny chunks but the flavours were delicious. Simple and homely but heartwarming with great textures of rice and seafood.
We also had the gnocchetti with lamb ragu. There were big chunks of braised lamb shank, a veil of tomato that clung to the small pasta pieces that were al dente and a heady and hefty fragrant punch of rosemary.
We decided to try the pizzoli described as a pizza sandwich and good for sharing, It did take a while for it to come out and basically the pizza base is sliced in half so it's two thin layers of base sandwiching the filling. We went with the Diavolo with spicy salami, black olives and roasted capsicums. It looks less appetising than a pizza because visually it's just the baked pizza base and it looks like a Mexican quesadilla. We enjoyed the crunchiness of the thin base which was light and grease free. The roasted peppers were flavoursome and the toppings were a good balance of flavours; salty salami, sweet capsicum, creamy cheese, briny olives. I'd have loved a bit more spice so either a more fiery salami or some chilli.
It's a small premises and whilst we were there it filled up quickly. A couple of larger parties came in after us and that pretty much meant it was a full house. It can get buzzy, busy and noisy but that's often the charm of a trattoria.
Service was friendly and attentive. The waitress did reassure us a couple of times our pizza was coming and I'm not sure if our wait is standard or something went wrong as it wasn't explained. I think the left hand needs to talk to the right hand more as we were often asked twice by different people if we wanted more to drink or ready to order etc. but better to be asked twice than not all I guess.
Ibla Cucina is a good, solid, local dining gem. It's decently priced, is authentic with its food so there's plenty to enjoy.