Eat & Drink

Una Volta

Authentic Italian made with love now on Watt Street in the city

The always evolving menu is lovingly sourced with the produce, flavour and quality always kept in mind.

You might have noticed an old favourite on King Street no longer operating, but we come bearing good news! The authentic Italian restaurant, Una Volta has indeed not closed their doors, but moved premises to the constantly growing and thriving Watt Street.

You often hear people talk about packing their bags and moving to an exotic country to live like a local and experience the culture first hand. For most, it's just a nice dream but for Nikki Bondini it was more than just talk with Nikki's love of travel and years of working in the food industry drawing her to Europe, in particular, Italy, where she worked, ate and cooked her way around the country.

Spending time on farms and in chalets, Nikki fell in love with the slower-paced Italian food culture and the emphasis on using only seasonal and daily produce.

Nikki opened Una Volta on Wolfe Street just over six years ago as a pop-up on weekends, with only a 12-month lease offered at the premises. They were soon booked out weeks in advance so decided to extend their hours to include Wednesday to Saturday nights.

When it became apparent that the building was destined for demolition, Nikki was on the search for a new space.

“Just as our lease was finally looking like coming to an end, our current space at 23 Watt Street came up for lease. As soon as we saw it we knew it was perfect,” Nikki said.

With the previous venue calling the much-loved Hari Krishna restaurant, Govindas home, it’s no surprise to hear that they’ve moved into another iconic Newcastle venue; the old Mercury nightclub!

“Una Volta was inspired by the little family-run trattoria that my husband Nathan and I would visit when we lived and travelled in Italy. Family run with no printed menu just a small list of what was cooking that day. The emphasis was always on the customers, enjoying good, fresh, local rustic food and wine.”

Officially opening the doors of the new space in November 2019 after a solid three months of renovations. The new space is the hard work of Nicole, Nathan and their team; from the design to the carpentry, everything you see has been done by themselves.

“We did a full renovation of the bar, booth seating, flooring, and cabinetry as well as a new kitchen.”

The Watt St location is still boasting their usual Italian foodie goodness, but with an extra offering of cocktails, aperitifs and a forever evolving wine list of Hunter wines as well as some Italian imports.

“We are absolutely loving our new home at 23 Watt Street! It’s an exciting space with quite a unique feel and great outlook sitting just above street level on Watt Street. There is also the option on a nice evening to open the bifold front glass wall for an alfresco feel.”

With plans to open up on Fridays for lunch and continuing with their three relaxing courses set to candlelight, their always evolving menu which is inspired and lovingly sourced, with the produce, flavour, and quality always kept in mind, a visit to Una Volta might be well overdue.