Deniro’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Fairfield Heights is one of our favourite local neighbourhood restaurants. The pizzas at Deniro’s are always scrumptious, the pastas are always delicious and the salads are always fresh. It’s easy to take for granted the effort that goes behind producing consistently great food, but we caught up with owner Rob Dababneh and learnt about the enormous amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

 Deniro's Chef and Owner, Rob
Rob Dababneh, owner of Deniro's Restaurant & Pizzeria

Rob runs Deniro’s almost single-handedly, having first started working at the restaurant as a waiter in his early teens. His work days start early in the morning and don’t finish until well after sunset in order to provide locals with fresh, tasty and generous Italian fare. From handpicking the potatoes to the peeling and mashing, then rolling out the gnocchi and serving it to diners, he truly does it all.

Joe's Fruit World  Deniro's Gnocchi

Rob’s food philosophy is all about fresh, quality, local ingredients. He visits Wetherill Park greengrocer Joe’s Fruit World on a daily basis to select his produce. Joe’s Fruit World is run by Frank and Matt. Like Rob, these guys work extraordinarily hard to provide their customers with the best. They sell seasonal produce at great prices, sourcing their fruit and vegetables directly from the Sydney Markets each day as well as other local farmers. But Deniro’s isn’t the only restaurant buying their fresh produce from Joe’s Fruit World. The greengrocer supplies to over 70 restaurants, cafes and clubs right across Sydney, from the city to Penrith, Narellan to Blacktown.

Joe's Fruit World Wetherill Park
Rob (centre) with Frank (left) and Matt (right) from Joe's Fruit World

Joe's Fruit World

For Rob, and undoubtedly the other restaurants that source their produce from Joe’s Fruit World, the reason he keeps going back is because of the consistently great quality of the produce and the great prices. But it’s also the reliable and helpful service. If there is a particularly great vegetable deal available, Frank and Matt will let Rob know and even suggest recommendations on how to cook it. Rob can then take advantage of the bargain buy and incorporate the ingredient into his specials menu to offer his customers something different.

Rob from Deniro's at Joe's Fruit World  Joe's Fruit World

The menu at Deniro’s is full of classic Italian favourites for big appetites. On our latest visit we indulged in an entrée of Gamberi Aglio, which is pan-fried prawns with olives in a garlic charged Napolitano sauce, topped with feta and served with crusty garlic bread. We balanced that out with the light and fresh Spinach & Pear Salad, which is drizzled in a sweet balsamic and honey dressing and tossed with crunchy walnuts and creamy feta.

Deniro's Fairfield Heights, Gamberi Aglio  Deniro's Fairfeild Heights - Pear and Rocket Salad

Of course, we couldn’t visit Deniro’s without having pizza and pasta. For the former, we opted for the Pizza Alla Sorrentino, a pizza that ticked all our boxes by giving us a bit of everything. Amongst the cabanossi, ham and salami, there are plenty of fresh veggies on this one with eggplant, mushrooms, onion, capsicum as well as olives, artichokes, and pineapple all getting a place.

Deniro's Pizza  Deniro's Fairfeild Heights, Gnocchi Di Casa

For the pasta, we couldn’t go past Rob’s irresistible handmade gnocchi. We ordered the Gnocchi Al Zucca which showcases sweet roasted pumpkin and cherry tomatoes that are tossed with the gnocchi in a silky cream sauce and topped with toasted pinenuts. Knowing that most of the ingredients have been personally selected by Rob and then transformed by him into a flavoursome restaurant dish, makes it even more delicious. From greengrocer to restaurant, potato to gnocchi, Rob’s been there every step of the way.

Deniro's Restaurant & Pizzeria
144/140 Polding St, Fairfield Heights NSW 2165

Joe's Fruit World
1187 The Horsley Dr, Wetherill Park NSW 2164