I am foodie as well as a tech head who loves to talk about the greater aspects of all things that should be public. I am more about the good than the bad and ugly and I thought it was time to go public with what I deem to be sensational.
Published December 9th 2013
great italian, shock 1: I'm not Italian, shock 2: suburbs
Now, normally to pick an Italian restaurant in the suburbs would be a mistake, but every Melburnian knows that you need to get past Lygon St, simply because Lygon only offers the old school pizza and pasta at most with a very boring twist.
Il Sogno, is in the no no suburbs, but it is a diamond in the rough. I thought I would start with here at first because I think it is a gem waiting to be discovered. I love my food and my Melbourne restaurants.
The decor is average, the location is not desirable, but my god, the food and service is nothing short of sensational. I went with a group of people for lunch this past Saturday.
We let John, (I believe) the cousin of the head chef, lead the way. Firstly, I was told that the food is always fresh as they make use of the space with no cool room being present. While you may think this is a disadvantage, it forces the restaurant to always stay fresh, and it shows.
We had delicious not overly crispy white bait and calamari for starters (all fresh - non frozen), a staple entrée, but it had a sensational aioli dressing and was perfectly cooked, meat balls with with a touch of cumin, which almost tasted like a Kofte, but was refreshing to see something different.
So far so good, but when we stepped up to a tagliatelle with white truffles, I actually squinted with delight - perfect.
John was quick to point out it was local produce from Tasmania which we didn't know existed, but it was great to hear the story of every meal, which I cant remember now for every dish, as all that has stuck with me is the taste, but at the time was sensational to listen to.
Our mains, were a purée with duck breast and cherry reduction, black angus beef with an onion reduction and lamb rack cooked pink perfectly. Nothing short of incredible. I would say the greatest meats I have ever eaten (massive statement for me to make).
The meats were tender, not over powering and distinctly the taste of the animal you were consuming complimented with whatever you were served with on the plate as a side.
All local and all with a story you will have to be told yourself in person.
The desserts were a poached pear with Turkish fairy floss, a tiramisu, a delicate fresh pudding and some type of hand made ice cream.
While the die hard Italians I were with tried to convince me you cannot have tiramisu without marsala wine, I was too busy disagreeing and eating. Topped all with wines and beer and ended with a coffee, even the little biscuit that came with the coffee was delicious.
I left not having room for dinner. I could not fault a thing; I am usually the type of person if I have nothing good to say, I will not say it all, and believe that if you discover something great it should be told twice fold.
So here is my favourite Italian restaurant and luckily for me, it's in Melbourne!