Tag Archives: Pasta

Tipo 00 a.k.a. 2015 Obsession

I have a Tipo 00 problem.   It was the restaurant that I frequented the most in 2015.  I’m pretty sure I was there at least 2x a month from about July onwards.  Good news:  I got to try almost everything from their delicious menu.  Bad news:  the wallet is lighter, the waist is wider and I ignored a lot of other new places.

This is my homage to Tipo 00, the love of my 2015.

Entrees:  from the moment the yummy focaccia comes out at the start of the meal,  you’re hooked.  It’s amazing with salt, olive oil and cheese.  My personal favourite of all the entrees is the arancini with mushrooms.

 

Goes without saying, the pasta is amazing.   The most famous of them all is the “Tagliolini al nero – squid ink tagliolini, squid & bottarga” but my favourite is the “Gnocchi di patate – braised duck, porcini mushroom & pecorino” in it’s pillowy perfection.

 

For desserts, again, all very very good.  But amazing is the “Tipomisù – chocolate, coffee & mascarpone“.   Can’t go past the amazing dark chocolate cake with the super rich coffee chocolate sauce.

 

I’ve actually had to impose a ban on myself from going to Tipo too much this year.  And after posting these pictures, I’m questioning my decision.   I seriously can’t articulate how much I love this place.

For more info and reviews:
Tipo 00 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Crabapple Friday Night Flights to Tuscany

Another Crabapple Kitchen “Friday Night Flights” dinner, this time to Tuscany.  As usual, food is fantastic and great value for money.  Love the added touches of background Italian music and special beers and cocktails to accompany the meal.

Started with a moorish and salty “fennel salumi, bread and local extra virgin olive oil“.

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Liver crostini with Vin Santo, marjoram and aged balsamic vinegar” was delicious and tangy.  The liver was cooked well and the dish had a nice tangy balance.

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The next dish was something I’d never had before.  The “Necci” – chestnut flour crepe filled with truffled ricotta and parmesan – was a lovely delicate dish.

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Nothing beats a hearty stew!  The “Ribollita” – Classic Tuscan peasant-style soup of cavolo nero, Borlotti beans and root vegetables was a lovely light stew with yummy crusty herd bread.

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Perfectly cooked pasta dish is expected in any Italian meal.  The “pappardelle with a pork and porchini ragu, parmesan and bruschetta for mopping” delivered on all aspects.  IMG_1051

Finished with “Bistecca alla Fiorentina” – T-bone steak “Rosemary brush” with braised cavolo nero rainbow chard and roasted potatoes” which was excellent.IMG_1053

As always, love Crabapple!

For more info and reviews:
Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Roaming through Rome at Crabapple Kitchen

When I first heard about the “Friday Night Flights” at Crabapple Kitchen I just had to go.   $45 for 6 courses with a travel destination theme (rotating every 2 weeks).   So with great anticipation, we went to “Roam in Rome” which was one of the best dinner I’ve had this year.  The food was inspired, and I felt like I went on a mini holiday.  Cocktails, beer and wine to match the theme of the night added to the atmosphere.

We started with “Pizza Bianca – focaccia style bread with potato, garlic, Fontina and rosemary“.  It was perfectly fluffy focaccia with paper thin slices of potato and cheese and sprinkled with sea salt.  Delicious.

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The “rice croquettes ‘al telefono’ with peas, ham and Mozzarella di Bufala” was my favourite dish of the night.  The croquettes were crispy outside, with perfect risotto on the inside.  Loved it.

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The “Borlotti bean soup with shrimp, calamari and mussels” was a rich hearty soup which a lovely seafood taste.

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Who can resist a good slow cooked meat dish?  The “Coda all vaccinara – oxtail stew ‘Quinto Quarto’ braised the butchers way and cavolo nero” was all that.  Slow cooked, tender meat with a rich tomato base and accompanied by toasted salted herb bread.

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The”Penne Cabonara ‘Coal Miner’s Dust’ with pancetta, Pecorino and a touch of cream” was great – perfectly cooked pasta, was a lovely light dish, and hit all the right notes (mmm salty pancetta).

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Finished the dinner with “Pork ‘Agrodolce’ – the flavours of Saltimbocca with firm polenta and sweet & sour sauce“.   Wonderfully cooked pork stuffed with fruits and nuts, with creamy polenta.  All very good.

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So dear reader, where does this leave us?   A delicious dinner at an event which will not be repeated in the foreseeable future.   I would highly recommend it and would go back in a heartbeat (we’ve been back twice for two other destinations!).  So, if you get the opportunity anytime soon to attend “Friday Night Flights” – do it!

For more info and reviews of Crabapple Kitchen:

Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Rosetta Ristorante

Every time I walk past Rosetta Ristorante I am in awe of how gorgeous the restaurant looks. Naturally, I expect matching food. And the food does match, in that it’s sophisticated and refined. However, this is pasta! And I want hearty wholesome rich dishes of Italian goodness – which means I wanted bigger serves!

As I was there with my friends Mariella and Kristine, we shared 2 pasta dishes and a dessert.

Started with the “Agnolotti alla Plin” which was described as small ravioli of roast rabbit, veal and pork. It was amazingly tasty morsels of pasta with a nice mix of textures (buttery sauce, silky pasta, meaty filling).

Agnolotti alla Plin

Next up we had the “Pappardelle Ragú Bolognese“. A simple dish with good sauce, perfectly cooked pasta.

Pappardelle

Dessert was an exceedingly cold “Torrone al Cioccolato” which was a frozen chocolate, peanut and coconut semi freddo. I was not a big fan of this one. It was a bit hard and difficult to eat, and the taste lacked a certain panache.

Torrone al Cioccolato

So, overall, good pasta but serves could be bigger. Dessert left much to be desired. Would I go again? Yes, as I think Rosetta deserves a second chance. Watch this space.

For more info and reviews:
Rosetta on Urbanspoon

Mama Baba (Not Melbourne’s Best Italian Restaurant)

So, the title of this post is a dig at the restaurant for having the audacity of putting itself as the “Melbourne’s Best Italian Restaurant” when you google it! Mama Baba is NOT by any stretch of the imagination Melbourne’s best Italian restaurant. One of the reasons I blog is to remember where I’ve been and where I do not want to go again. This is one of those in the latter list.

Was there at the start of the year, and had a late night dinner. Started with the intriguing moussaka fritters, which were quite good.

Moussaka Fritters

We then had pasta dishes, mine was the prawn filled ravioli whilst my boyfriend had a spiral pasta with breadcrumbs. Positives of the meal was that it was nice generous serves of pasta. Not so positive was that the taste was very one dimensional and after the first few bites, it started to taste like the same mouthful of food.

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I’m normally a bit more complimentary towards restaurants, but the way that this restaurant is portraying itself is totally rubbing me the wrong way. As can be seen from the urbanspoon reviews, clearly the mismatch of expectation is not just me!

Mama Baba on Urbanspoon

Merchant… Thanks Guy for the excellent pasta!

Popped into Merchant for a quick lunch a few Friday’s ago, and I was absolutely delighted by the pasta dishes!  Heard mixed reviews, so my expectations were reserved.

The service was extremely good – attentive waiters who responded to everything and constantly topped up our water.  What I loved was that when we arrived, they offered us belinnis!  A belinni is a combination of prosecco and peach puree – delicious!

However, they did mix up our entree dish where we asked for “Almond crusted coffin bay scallops” but instead received “Marinated octopus“… there were apologies etc and we decided to keep the dish and try it.  I’m not a big fan of octopus, so I can’t say more than this:  it was tangy and the consistency was like cooked white fish.

I was in the mood for a good homely gnocchi dish and ordered the “Gnocchi, braised ox tail ragu” and wow was it exactly what I wanted!  I’m a bit of a gnocchi snob so for this to blow me away means that it was fantastic!  Pillowy soft and full of potato flavour, engulfed by a rich meaty ragu – yum!

My friend had the “Bigoli Mori Rosso, crab, radicchio” and I had a taste and it was awesome!  Bigoli Mori Rosso is a type of pasta (buckwheat?) and the dish was loaded with crabmeat so it was a good textural mix.

Overall, it was a good experience mainly due to the pasta dishes being superb.  I’m dying to go back to have more pasta!

For more info and reviews:
Merchant on Urbanspoon

Borsch, Vodka & Tears

I love this Melbourne institution… casual atmosphere, large list of vodkas, great menu and a nifty name.   Borsch, Vodka & Tears is a great all rounder.

Drinks are fabulous.  I asked the waiter to choose my drink and got a “Velvet Fog” which comprised of czech absinth, melon vodka, apple liqueur, pineapple juice shaken with sugar and lemon juice.  We also got a “Lemonade 20c” which was a zesty and refreshing clear vodka, fresh lemons and a dash of lemonade.

My favourite dish is the “potato blintzes” which is a perfectly cooked crispy potato pancake topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and herbs.   Oh I love this dish.   It also comes with other toppings such as mushroom ragu.

Another favourite is the “pierogi” dumplings that comes with the following fillings:  “beef, chicken, herbs with a paprika meat sauce”, “porcini mushroom and sauerkraut with a breadcrumb coating” and “cheese and potato with fried onion and sour cream”.  All are yummy!

The “Russian style chicken stroganoff” rocked my world.  Rich buttery sauce, nice pieces of chicken and loaded with mushrooms.  Yum!

The pasta dishes are good, but not a must do.  The “panfried gnocchi with mushroom ragu” has perfectly cooked gnocchi, and a great mushroom ragu over it.  The “seafood fettucini” was good.  Both were large serves.

Hearty, Polish fare with generous portions and a great selection of drinks makes for a great night out!  Love Borsch, Vodka & Tears and can’t wait to go again!

For more info and reviews:

Borsch, Vodka & Tears on Urbanspoon