Mid Level Southgate, Melbourne (map)
Mum invited me to go to the MTC production of The Pillow Man with her last Wednesday, so we wanted to dine somewhere in Southbank. I'd heard something about a Southbank restaurant called Fabric, but phone calls attempting to make a booking went unanswered. Their ultra snazzy website is still fully functional, but perhaps they have closed? Anyway, we instead opted for Tutto Bene, the risotteria in Southgate.
While Southgate is not exactly the cutting edge in Melbourne cool - and let's face it, it never WAS the cutting edge in Melbourne cool - it does still have a damn fine view of the Melbourne skyline! This was taken from our table on the Tutto Bene balcony.
The atmosphere at Tutto Bene is quite cosy and romantic... my friend L was recently brought here on a date and loved it...
Generally I prefer to avoid Italian food when I eat out, as I am a bit of an Italian food snob (my Nonna makes the best risotto in the world). But as I hadn't been to Melbourne's only risotteria before I was definitely going to try their risotto to see if it was any good.
I chose something I would find extremely fiddly to cook myself: the risotto with blue swimmer crab, tomato and chilli. I liked it a lot - it had a great creamy consistency, the grains of rice had just enough bite to them, and the tomato and chili were subtle, really showing off the fresh crab meat.
Mum didn't feel like risotto so instead opted for the fish special: a fillet of Kingfish from Port Lincoln, oven roasted with a white wine reduction and served with wilted spinach, roasted capsicum and a side serve of garlicky roasted potatoes and thyme. It wasn't really a very exciting dish, but the fish was moist and fresh and quite strongly flavoured, so it made sense to serve it with a pretty mild reduction.
Every time I walk past it with her, Mum points to the gelateria outside Tutto Bene and raves about how their lime gelato is the best she's ever tasted. So despite the antarctic wind sweeping through Southbank, I decided to brave a gelato. In addition to Cedro, I got Limoncello.
Wow! These citrusey gelati had a kick like a mule (but in a good way!)... the Cedro had some other citrus fruit apart from lime in it, possibly tangerine, and tasted wonderfully sweet and sour. The Limoncello was also fantastic, tasted just like the liqueur. The addition of the cone to my requested cup of gelato was a cute touch.
Oh, and by the by, we hated The Pillow Man and left at interval. What philistines we are!