21 Oct Mister Bianco, Kew
I’ve been longing to visit Mister Bianco ever since Svago closed down, hearing many good things about its tasty Southern Italian fare. I did want to try Svago too, but obviously that opportunity is long gone. Their main dining room is capable of seating up to 40 guests and there are also two private rooms upstairs and two outdoors tables at the back, ready for alfresco dining. Because there was a function on downstairs we were fortunate enough to dine one of the more intimate and quiet private rooms.
After an explanation of the menu by our charming waitress Lucrezia, Mum and I decided to go with the sharing menu where you select between two and four courses from the options of stuzzichini, pasta, mains and dessert. Diners then get receive everything listed under each of those course headings. We picked the two course option for $53, opting for pasta and mains.
Following our delightfully soft complimentary bread rolls came our pasta course, consisting of:
– ricotta and spinach ‘gnudi’ gnocchi with tomato essence, parmesan crisp + basil
– baked and marinated jumbo scallops, chorizo risotto with chilli, saffron and peas with basil foam
Gnudi seem similar to gnocchi but they’re made mostly of ricotta and spinach rather than flour and potato. Even without the sauce they were tasty, but the addition of the cheesy sauce and tomato essence created a flavour explosion in my mouth. The parmesan crisp could have been crispier, but it still added a different dimension of flavour to the rest of the dish.
Perfectly cooked rice and a strong saffron flavour (imparted by the generosity of saffron threads) made the risotto a delight to consume. I’ve never had such a distinct tasting of saffron before.
The timing of the mains was good, giving our stomachs enough time to recover slightly and reset our palates. Included in this course were:
– pan-fried barramundi, slow cooked tomato, black olive tapenade and a chickpea fritter
– slow-braised organic beef cheek in red wine, creamed spatzle and pickled radicchio
– rocket and parmesan salad with white wine vinegar dressing
Sweet and nicely cooked, the barramundi went well with the olive tapenade, and the chickpea fritter added an interesting textural element.
The first bite into the beef cheek was accompanied by groans of satisfaction – the fall-apart beef was packed with flavour after its 12-hour braise. There was a wonderful balance between the tartness of the red wine sauce and pickled radicchio and the creamy sauce of the spaztle, and the beetroot chips provided some crunchy pleasure.
By the end of the meal we were ridiculously full and incredibly satisfied with the quality of the food and the service – we couldn’t find too much to fault. This is definitely one for a revisit!
285 High St
Kew, VIC 3101
(03) 9853 6929