Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce.
Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback,
comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.
MUST VISIT SOON: Livingroom, Hare & Grace
MOST RECENT FEASTINGS: Pei Modern, Sarti, PM24, Vue de Monde
BLOG OF THE MOMENT: I Eat Therefore I Am
Inside, the restaurant has an informal, yet classy feel about the place. It has been designed very well; broken into subsections with table seating, bars and benches. They have made use of the (large) space very well. Tables are wooden and set with menus, a single sheet, which also acts as a placemat. There are bulit in slots which house the cuttlery, olive oil and salt and pepper grinders. Service is friendly from the moment you arrive and I am promptly escorted to my table, and welcomed to the restaurant by Maurice.
Upon entering one is quickly drawn to the salumi showcase. A mark that the restaurant is really serious about its cured meats. All of them look fantastic. Local prodcuts of the highest quality, prepared using traditional Italian methods are proudly hung here for the diners to ponder at. It would be hard not to start with something from this selection.
I arrive early, luckily as the restaurant is completely full by 7PM. Melbournians have learnt of this place and have quickly embraced it. The restaurant is casual enough to go to for a quick dinner, yet stylish enough for those seeking a more formal experience. This is present throughout my sitting with a number of patrons simply enjoying a quick pasta, whilst others sampled a variety of dishes. One thing is for sure though: everyone left with a smile on their face, for good reason. This is excellent Italian cooking: simple and fresh - I wouldn't want it any other way.
To begin complimentary bread is served. The restaurant features a bread wall and chopping station, where bread is sliced fresh for each table. I receive this plate featuring four different varieties including foccacia and salted grissini.
Next I simply must order some of that fabulous salumi and after reading Jack's reviews I am compelled to try the "Caciatore" Salumi ($12): Nine petite slices of the best salami I have tried. This particular salami is a soft cured variety and is the ultimate in cured meats with a mild flavour and beautiful texture.
Before I know it the "Gambaretti" arrive - Oregano dusted baby prawns served with lemon and aioli ($18): These prawns are just wonderful. Small and fresh they are fabulous eaten whole with a squeeze of lemon. It was a shame to see others dissecting them. They are so full of flavour when they are this small and have a beautiful crunchy coating. The accompanying aioli is also very good and the dish is a standout.
For mains the pasta options seem the best way to go. I decide upon Chittara "Arrabbiata" ($24) - Spaghetti of crab meat, tomato and chilli baked in a paper bag. It is simple and delicious. I look forward to sampling all of their pasta e risotti - a saffron and pork sausage risotto at a neighbouring table looked divine.
Insalate: Pea, Shallots, Mint, Basil, Air Dried Ricotta ($9) - Fresh and perfect. These ingredients work so well together.
As much as I would have liked to sample the dolci there was simply no room left after enjoying all of this, though the Zuppa Inglese (trifle to share) has definitely got my attention and is on my must try list.
Giuseppe Arnaldo and sons is a fabulous new venue to eat, drink and socialise. I will be coming back soon with friends and it is sure to become a regular haunt for myself and many others. The restaurant does not take bookings so get in now, get in early and enjoy.
MY RATING: 16/20 - Food 8/10 Service 4/5 Ambience 4/5 - Its good value and the sought of place I definitely want to visit again soon.