A wise woman, fictional she may be, once said it’s best to ‘start from the very beginning, a very good place to start’. Which is why I found myself at Mergellina on Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick.
I lived around the corner for the first 7 years of my life, and this joint was our local Italian restaurant growing up. I have fond memories of eating here. I haven’t visited this place for years, but felt it was fitting to include this in my blog, and for it to be the first Bolognese to be eaten on this mission, as it’s my earliest memory of Spaghetti Bolognese.
So, how did it fare? Well, firstly I was devastated to see the arcade games which used to sit by the front window were gone (this used to be my source of entertainment while I waited for the Spaghetti Bolognese), and I noticed that there has certainly been a change in ownership since way back when. The place was nowhere near as busy at it used to be, but I hoped the Spaghetti Bolognese was as good as I remembered. Unfortunately, it was not.
I had a few concerns when it was served to me. Firstly, the sauce was dolloped on top, which I don’t like. Secondly, there were two very thick slices of parmesan cheese placed on top which I couldn’t quite understand. They didn’t melt like finer shavings would, they just sat there and I don’t really like eating slices of cheese with my pasta.
The portion size was very large, too large. There was enough Spaghetti in the bowl to feed at least two people – but hey, I guess that’s the Italian generous way? The pasta was cooked very well – perfect al dente. However, the sauce missed the mark totally. It was far too runny and the chunks were too thick – I ate a chunk of meat which was the size of a 20 cent coin. There was way too much of a raw tomato flavour which made it quite acidic. It was well seasoned, but there was too much pasta to sauce. While I know some who rave about Mergs, it didn’t gel for me.
Not off to the best start, but hoping for better results next week.