Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ristorante Tartufo

For lunch yesterday, we met up with a friend and headed towards The Emporium without actually having a set place in mind. We perused the menus of a few restaurants and was drawn to Tartufo quite instantly. So there we were settled very comfortably in the middle of this expansive restaurant.

The interior still echoes of a defunct Belle Epoque. The bar area is just magnificent with an almost floor to ceiling display of glass bottles and illuminating red light. While we tucked into lunch, there was actually a fashion-shoot taking place right at the bar!

Mr and Miss food hunter settled for just mains today. For him, a Belly of Pork and for her, a Blue-eyed Cod. Our dear friend chose from the entrees, a Pappardelle of Rabbit ragu and a classic Italian Napoletana dessert. There is quite a good selection of both Australian and Italian wines. The waitress who took our orders did inform us that it would be at least a 30-min wait before we receive our mains and we  had complementary bread with an olive & balsamic dip to stave off any hunger pangs. Yes, the menu did highlight that being Italians, cooking is like 'love-making' i.e. Slow.....We didn't mind the wait as we had plenty of catching up to do!
Pinot gris and crusty Pane

Belly pork and roast potatoes

The porchetta contadina was a generous slab of kingaroy Belly Pork filled with lardo colonnata style, sage, rosemary and garlic served with cavolo nero and hot mustard fruits. The pork was well seasoned with a nice crispy crackling and herb-y bread stuffing. The hot mustard fruits tasted like candied fruits and can overwhelm by the pork. This dish though a heart-stopper is one to return to Tartufo for!

The baccalĂ  in umido; Blue-eyed Cod imported from Iceland cooked with onions, cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano, white wine and served atop slices of potatoes was cooked well indeed. This is Miss food hunter's all-time favourite fish! The cod with its smooth moist flakes was a delight to eat and there was plenty of blistered cherry tomatoes to accompany even my side of bread too! The overall flavour was simply subtle, it is certainly not bland but ermmmm....can i say monotone and rather flat?? And, the fish was pretty salty. 

Spot the rabbit!

Fresh salad

Our friend's pappardelle al coniglio; hand-made pappardelle with Rabbit ragu was complete with shaved pecorino romano. She enjoyed her dish especially the al-dente pasta ribbons and her only complaint was the salt content!

Oozy ricotta
And finally, her dessert sfogliatella napoletana is a traditional neapolitan dessert, made of flaky pastry and filled with semolina, ricotta, candied fruits and rosewater. Not sure she liked the firm "gels" of candied fruits and bitter grapefruit but she did polish off the ricotta filling! Miss food hunter gave this a taste and found the rose water to be certainly prominent, the ricotta to be warm & smooth despite the slight semolina 'grit'.

Creamy Vanilla bean gelato & Espresso
Miss food hunter was delighted to see the flecks of Vanilla in her gelato!

All three of us enjoyed our wines, lunch and conversation at Tartufo and all three wait staff were highly professional throughout the service. They were all smiles, polite and made sure our glasses were topped with water. We would imagine the ambience to be fantastic at night and a great dinner date choice?

Ristorante Tartufo
The Emporium

1000 Ann street
Opens daily lunch & dinner
          saturdays & sunday breakfast 8am

Ristorante Tartufo on Urbanspoon

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