After taking a punt on a suburban Italian restaurant last week I came to the conclusion that this week will take me nowhere but Melbourne’s little Italy, Lygon Street. There are many Spag Bols to be had here, and I know that I will be visiting this street on a near weekly basis for the next year. So, where to start – which restaurant to pick first? A few weeks back I visited Lygon Street for a dose of research and inspiration. I asked the Brunetti staff where they go for their favourite – many answered with places I’d already heard of, and then a barista mentioned Villa Romana. I was curious. Villa Romana it was.
The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sauce was yummm. It was rich and developed. I loved the thickness and texture – there were no big chewy chunks, rather tender little clumps which incorporated beautifully into the sauce, and literally melted away on my tongue. There was a sweet note to the sauce which resonated very well with me. There was a good balance between meat and tomato flavours, and I could tell this sauce was made with lots of love.
There were a few down points. The first was seasoning – salt, none lacking but there could have been more pepper. Another negative was the subtle meaty after taste which lingered.
Further wins were the portion size, and pasta-to-sauce ratio which was pretty spot-on. I also appreciated the little bowls of finely grated parmesan and chili oil placed to the side.
Note: dishes which score 16+ are contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best Spaghetti Bolognese. All scores above 16 will be disclosed at the end of the year long taste testing.