When I'm not at university, I can be found curled up reading a great book, gardening, painting, writing anything from songs to hopeful novels to home-performed plays or 'treasure-hunting' in op shops around Melbourne.
Published May 25th 2013
Let your tastebuds enjoy heaven
If you're looking for a fancy restaurant to celebrate a momentous event like a birthday or even just for a special dinner out, Italy 1 in Camberwell is a good choice to go to. While being more upmarket than the usual café, it is not so high-class that it is entails strict dress-codes and staid conduct. Instead, it has an intimate and warm atmosphere that is accented by the dim lighting and the friendly staff.
Italy 1 warm and intimate interior. Image from restaurant website.
I went there recently for a cousin's birthday dinner. There was complimentary warm bread to dip in olive oil for starters and we also ordered the arancini and the main-sized calamari served with rocket to share as entrees. They were both delicious, but the main dishes were even better.
The ricotta and spinach with pasta was great too, but it was very rich and filling. I had the capunti with beetroot, chard leaves and pinenuts, which was a good choice as it wasn't rich like the ricotta and spinach dish, and also had beetroot-pink pasta that was filled with flavor.
Also, at the risk of repeating myself in saying the food was great and sounding overeager, I have to say that the roasted potatoes we had ordered to share were unusually good. I generally don't like eating potatoes without a sauce because they can taste very bland, but these potatoes retained the flavor of the roasting and were great. We also tried a couple of risotto dishes too, which were quite good. However, personally I preferred the pasta choices. The sauces for the risottos were a bit too watery and made the dish seem a bit like rice with soup.
For dessert, we had the gelati. We didn't get to choose the flavours, but we think they were blood orange, lemon and a creamy raisin sorbet. We also had a vanilla bean panna cotta with red wine jelly cubes and strawberries. This was quite good, but the vanilla flavour was a bit too strong and got a bit overpowering.
Vanilla bean panna cotta with red wine jelly and strawberry
Service in general was quite good; the waitress was friendly and the food didn't take ages as is prone to happen at the fancier restaurants. It was rather pricey, but for the excellent food with good-sized servings, I reckon it was worth it. Bookings can be made via their website or a phone call.