Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published October 13th 2012
Light and wholesome flavours served with love
In a small strip of shops on Bayswater Road lies a local jaunt for food that's fresh, plentiful and made with love. Da Ricardo's brings to its guests a lengthy spread of international favourites, yet it's tempting Italian tone, together with cheap prices, reels in the regulars.
The family behind the name originated from Sri Lanka and immigrated to Italy. Eventually, the family planted their culinary feet in Lilydale then relocated to Croydon South. The result is a cheap and homely menu of delicious international-themed meals being served within walking distance of my home.
A simple pasta menu gives guests tasty, traditional choices from olive oil, tomato to cream sauces and are all served in either entrée or main sizes below $15. A main size of spaghetti pescatore, weighted with fish, scallops, prawns and mussels offers more than a substantial meal. Complemented with an entrée of bruschetta and a lightly-dressed garden salad, this pasta meal makes for a comforting dinner sitting on a lazy weekend evening.
If guests are in the mood to share, then there's a pasta misto as an option. For $30 guests can indulge in a large platter of three pasta options of their choice.
The main-meal branch of the menu also brings guests fresh, high quality options, all generous in size, for between $20 and $24. Dishes are served with sides of mixed roasted and steamed vegetables or crispy salad (guests' choice) and there are plenty of suggestions to keep guests' appetites at bay – eye fillet steaks, veal saltimbocca and salmon to note a few.
Da Ricado's also hosts an exhaustive bar menu, complete with wines sourced far and wide, spirits and beers. Guests can opt to bring a bottle of their own wine, should they please.
This week 4 of us came for dinner. The service was very poor. Noone to greet us at the door, even though we had a booking. When eventually shown to our table, there was no attention for 20 minutes. We had to call someone to get water & place our orders. The meal was very nice, but no other offers of drinks or food. They need some one at front of house to direct the very young inexperienced staff.