13 Nov Osteria 20, Hawthorn
Eight One Eight didn’t seem to last very long on this competitive strip of Glenferrie Road, but it’s been more of a metamorphosis than a complete change – the owners revised the concept of the restaurant and changed its name to suit. Osteria 20 is quite a large restaurant, separated into a number of sections that offer different types of seating arrangements. The design of the restaurant allows it to cater to all sorts of needs, making it quite a flexible venue.
The new menu has been designed to be more family friendly, and it’s divided into small and large plates, pasta, pizza, sides and desserts.
South Australian Octopus comes with pickled vegetables, salty samphire, red wine, crispy fried potatoes, fresh radish, and zoodles. The octopus is salty when eaten by itself, but when the dish is eaten as a whole, the flavours are balanced. Fried Eggplant is thinly sliced and crumbed, sprinkled with salty and tangy crumbled feta, broad beans, and spring onions.
Wild Boar Chestnut Pappardelle comes with minced boar meat rather than a ragu, and the pappardelle is almost fettucine-like in thickness. The pasta itself is home made and done well – it’s smooth and cooked to al dente.
The Seafood Risotto Al Forno is very good. The rice is baked in claypot together with a huge heap of mussels, clams and cuttlefish. There’s a little crust in places from being cooked in the oven.
Hot Chocolate Fondant comes with a multitude of accompaniments, making it one of the more interesting fondants I’ve tried. A dollop of banana fudge is found on top of the crumbly bourbon biscuit, and in a jug is a smoked chocolate sauce that’s slightly more bitter than that found inside the perfectly oozy fondant. This all sounds quite rich, so thankfully there’s some ice cream to serve as a refreshing counterpoint.
For something lighter, there’s Cannoli with roasted strawberries and berry crumble. Thick and crispy pastry is filled with very mild flavoured mascarpone.
There are a number of interesting-sounding dishes on Osteria 20’s menu. I may have to return for the tiramisu.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Osteria 20 as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
818 Glenferrie Rd
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122
(03) 9818 3600