Eat & Drink

Lagune Artisan Restaurant

Enjoy Napoli flavours surfside

Nestled a block behind Wamberal Beach and Wamberal Surf Life Saving Club, Lagune Artisan (lagune meaning lagoon in Italian) is a stop-off point for surfers, residents, and holidaymakers. 

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It’s where they pull up for house-made focaccia sandwiches baked daily using authentic Italian flour and a long fermentation process, comfortingly warm bowls of house-made pasta, or large plates of signature woodfired pizza.

Lagune Artisan’s dishes are prepared with passion. Simple and fresh, they’re made the traditional Napoli way, says Luiz, one of Lagune Artisan’s four founders - Alex, Luiz, Rey, and Edu.

“We lived and breathed Italian food when we were children, and we try to replicate the style of cooking we saw our nonne (grandmothers) prepare.

“Simple and fresh means market-fresh vegetables are on the plate daily. Our mushrooms are finely sliced and immersed in fragrant rosemary, oils, and spices. Juicy eggplant is lightly seasoned, moments before being placed on a pizza. There are no shortcuts,” Luiz, raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Italian heritage, said. 

When HUNTERhunter took a weekday morning table at Lagune Artisan, chefs Rey and Edu were manning the pizza oven and working the dough for the weekend’s pizzas and focaccias on the nearby preparation bench. 

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Alex, Rey, and Edu are the regular faces of the business and Luiz works the restaurant floor fortnightly, when he’s not managing the books, or the family-friendly restaurant’s inventory.

The sounds of steel-capped rubber boots swishing across the floor intermingle with the sizzle of fryers, the chatter of morning customers, and the clanging of metal pots filled with meatballs and sauces being prepared for the day’s service.

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“Lagune Artisan’s traditional, fresh Napolitan pizza dough is always made from scratch daily.

“The day before we start service is when we start making our doughs. Our dough is fermented for 24 hours minimum and is preservative-free. And our focaccia bread is cut and cooked in the woodfire oven. Because we can prepare our dough every day, we  keep our product incredibly fresh.”

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Customers can’t miss the classic, domed Mesiano pizza oven at the entrance, inspired by the authentic ovens found in Naples.

“As a child, it was mesmerising watching the fire cooking the pizza. Like a kind of magic.”

Luiz describes Lagune Artisan’s own pizza oven as a symbol of passion and craftsmanship, “bringing authentic Napoli-style wood ovens to our kitchen.” 

Running his hands over the oven’s ocean-blue mosaic tiles, he proudly shows the tiles bearing the restaurant name.

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“It can fit five large pizzas.”

The common denominator of Lagune Artisan’s dishes? Its flavour. Flavour is always at the forefront. Focaccia lovers will appreciate Lagune Artisan’s slow-cooked lamb focaccia sandwich with mild Italian provolone cheese, garlic mint aioli and wild rocket.

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“We brought this focaccia concept to the Central Coast from the streets of Italy. Our freshly baked focaccia sandwiches are made with amazing ingredients. It is difficult to narrow down our favourites, but if I may, the polpette (house-made meatballs), tomato sauce, mild provolone cheese, fresh rocket and Grana Padano parmesan, melted, has been a favourite among regulars.”

Trade at Lagune Artisan starts at 7:30am, with customers served up rich, full-bodied coffees carefully blended from Darks Coffee Roasters, Newcastle.

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Best sellers include the giardino artisan classic with sauteed zucchini, avocado, pumpkin ricotta, buffalo mozzarella on focaccia bread. Or opt for a freshly made frittata romana with zucchini, mushrooms, smoked scamorza cheese, rocket, and fresh herbs. House-made muffins are popular, too, especially the mixed berries and Nutella muffins.

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Much-loved at lunchtime are classic chicken ‘parmis’, pasta like Boscaiola, and salads.

Dominating dinnertimes are Lagune Artisan’s traditional Napolitan-style pizzas and pasta, accompanied by craft beers from Six Strings, Coastal Brewery, 7th Day Brewery, Block ‘n Tackle, and a selection of local wines plus, of course, Italy’s chianti and prosecco.

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Fancy a few slices of piping hot prosciutto pizza, anyone?

Lagune Artisan Restaurant

127A Ocean View Drive, Wamberal, NSW, 2260

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