Carlton Espresso is a place I was looking forward to visiting. Sister cafe to the renown pizzaria D.O.C, housed around the corner and in Mornington, Carlton Espresso is known for it’s piadinas. While Spaghetti Bolognese isn’t on the menu, it is served bespoke. Being a Lygon Street cafe, there was a certain expectation that came along with this meal, especially since eating such a great one down the road at Villa Romana.
On first inspection, the Bolognese was stirred through – tick. The sauce was a vibrant red colour which indicated a strong tomato flavour. I couldn’t see any chunks, but there seemed to be a lot of sauce sitting at the bottom of the bowl. It resembled a bowl of tomato juice dolloped with spaghetti on top.
The flavour was how I anticipated – loads of tomato. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right balance for me – it was too acidic with not enough sweetness to compliment, and the sauce was too runny. The texture of the meat was nice – quite tender – but it was too fine and got lost amongst the tomato. The pasta was cooked al dente, but it was swimming in sauce. The seasoning was spot on, but overall the dish was unpalatable.
This Spaghetti Bolognese would certainly be enjoyed by the school of those who prefer a tomato dominated sauce, but I am not such a person, and I seriously missed the sweet meaty flavour which I anticipate and enjoy so much.