Friday, June 1, 2018

Basta, Fitzroy MELB

A few years ago, my definition of Italian food in Melbourne would be Lygon Street. Just about every shop screams pasta, pizza and gelato, a dream come true for the tourist in me when I first arrived in Melbourne. Having been disappointed by a particular restaurant, I soon turned into an arrogant Italian consumer and would only go to restaurants that are highly raved about.

Carrie, the enthusiastic and highly passionate owner of Basta, was kind enough to offer me an invitation to dine at her restaurant on Wednesday and patiently explained to me the story behind her Italian restaurant. Knowing how Italians are proud of their country's food (and rightfully so), I knew that I would be in good hands when Carrie mentioned of her husband's background to us.

The menu is kept simple, concise and price wise, it will not leave you with a credit card debt. I loved how warm and welcoming the entire restaurant felt on a cold night. Cannot fault being surrounded by soothing music and a few bottles of wine starring back at me.

Raspberry mojito mocktail - I do like a sweet drink in place of alcoholic beverages and this is my newfound favourite combination. Not overly tart from the dried raspberries and had a moderated tinge of sweetness that pairs well with the earthy scent of mint leaves.

Polpette - beef and pork meatballs, potato puree and tomato sugo. The meatballs had a perfect ratio of each meat in it and certainly was well seasoned. Sweetness from the tomato sugo was well balanced by the sharpness from the shredded parmesan cheese.

Salumi and formaggi - this massive platter would feed at least 3 people and is generously filled with slices of porchetta, bresaolo, capocollo and cheese in the form of caciatta al tartufo and fiordilatte. My first proper (and deliciously satisfying) introduction to cured Italian meat. I can easily finish a few dollops of fiordilatte, a soft, creamy type of mozarella cheese. My favourite meat would be the milder flavoured porchetta aka the softest but probably fattiest slice of meat on the platter.

Bread with olive oil - I am a huge fan of bread served at restaurants (am I partly French, maybe?) and was pleased by how soft the bread felt and teared in my hands. However, the real star here is the olive oil. Extremely fragrant and bold tasting, almost to the point of being unforgettable.

Orecchiette al broccoli - house made orecchiette, broccoli, chilli, anchovies, garlic oil, pecorino and Italian sausage. I absolutely loved how most of Basta's pasta is made in house and to me, this is one of the best pasta dishes I have had in Australia. Cooked al dente and packed full of flavours from humble ingredients like broccoli and chilli, I was very impressed at how the chef managed to convince the carnivore in me to look at greener pastures. Highly recommended.

Porchetta - free range rolled roasted pork, brussel sprouts and salsa verde. Another winner in my books and truly one that I feel the picture does it no justice. Earth shattering pork skin, soft and juicy meat, caramelized brussel sprouts.. Enough said really.

Dulche de leche pannacotta - chocolate and hazelnut soil, chocolate ganache and caramelised figs. Moreish and came in just the right size for sharing between the two of us who were at this stage, filled to the brim. Pannacotta was silky smooth and not overly sweet whilst chocolate ganache is something that I would gladly sneak the entire quenelle into my mouth if the sister isn't looking.

Once again, many thanks to Carrie and the team at Basta for having me over for dinner. In saying that this is a sponsored post, I did enjoy my dinner tremendously and do believe that Basta is on the money in soon to becoming a popular Italian hideout for those wanting pasta, done right of course ;)

Basta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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