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May 12, 2020
Habits

Hey Bianca launches spin-off pasta restaurant Hey Antonella

Online pizzeria Hey Bianca has launched a sister restaurant specialising in pasta, with a menu designed by chef Antonella Stumpo.

  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

SPECIAL REPORT: COVID-19 ADELAIDE

Now two and a half years old, Hey Bianca launched in 2017 as a restaurant built for the current era of pandemic.

Remarks

Hey Antonella launches this Monday, 18 May.
Visit the website for more information.

The pizzeria does not offer dine-in, and in-person interaction is limited, save for those stopping by the shopfront.

Aside from the final moment of delivery, customers will almost wholly experience Hey Bianca from within its own purpose-built app, meaning the business is not subject to the usual 30 per cent skimming-off-the-top by third-party apps like Uber.

Because of this readiness for a takeaway-only reality, and the good name Hey Bianca has made for itself in the Neapolitan pizza game, the shop hasn’t done too badly since COVID-19 hit – though founders Aman Takhar and Jason Cross feel guilty admitting it.

The business didn’t totally escape the effects of the pandemic though. In mid-March, just as social gathering restrictions were announced, Aman and Jason were set to sign on to a new lease in Torrensville, extending Hey Bianca’s reach.

They opted not to take the lease, and instead use the money as a war chest to weather whatever financial storm may come in the coming months.

“I thought it might be the case that people just don’t spend money,” Aman says.

“We were just lucky that takeaway was allowed. And we just started noticing more and more people order.”

Even with the uptick in orders, signing onto a new lease is a risky move. With a bit of freed up cash, the Hey Bianca team instead got to work on a new concept – a specialty pasta restaurant called Hey Antonella.

Above: Antonella Stumpo’s likeness and the Hey Antonella logo

Aman and Jason identified pasta as one of the top three most-ordered items through their previous food-delivery business, Mlkman, and so they knew there would be a market for it. And with more people eating at home now than ever before, this would be a perfect time to introduce the concept.

All they needed was a menu.

For this, they turned to Hey Bianca head pizza chef, and now namesake of Hey Antonella – Antonella Stumpo.

The chef has been active in Adelaide for years but is originally from Caulonia in southern Italy. A bread maker by trade, she came into Hey Bianca and helped the business improve its pizza dough.

She’s also “just a very good chef,” Aman says. “Her pasta is legit.”

The menu is relatively short, and each item is one of Antonella’s family recipes.

Hey Antonella mains are carbonara with guanciale, Bolognese tagliatelle, Napoletana ragu, ravioli e zucca, vongole, and Corta de sisi.

There is arancini and garlic bread for starters, and most importantly in CityMag’s opinion, tiramisu for dessert.

The tagliatelle dish will come with house-made pasta, but for now the rest of the pasta dishes will come with sauces made from scratch but pre-made pasta.

Once the brand is established, Aman plans to buy in a commercial pasta maker and have the entire range made in-house.

You can also order an Alpha Box & Dice wine to go with your order.

Just as in the case of Hey Bianca’s pizza, a great amount of thought has gone into how the Hey Antonella pasta dishes will travel. Through much research and development, the team have chosen bags fitted with heat pads, and have played with cooking times, delivery times, all with the aim of getting quality, al dente pasta into the hands of those who desire it.

The packaging is also considered. Rather than going for plastic containers – which are effective in trapping heat but look cheap – Hey Antonella has opted for a bamboo container.

Hey Antonella launches this Monday, 18 May, but the website is live now and if you sign up you’ll get $10 off your first order. The restaurant is also offering prizes to those who successfully sign up their friends using a referral code: five people will get you a free tiramisu, 10 people will get you a pasta dish, 25 people is a dinner-for-two meal deal, and 50 people will get you a year’s worth of pasta.

The latter option also comes with its own bonus prize: confirmation you’ve got 50 friends who trust your foodie recommendations. Good on you.

Mark Monday in your diary and sign up now at the website.

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