Trunk – a gorgeous foodie spot in Melbourne’s CBD which has been buzzing with people in it’s front courtyard, restaurant and neighbouring diner since opening in 2007. At the top of the ‘pasta and risotto’ section of their restaurant menu reads ‘House-made pappardelle with Wagyu bolognese’. Music to my ears – homemade pasta, wagyu and bolognese all in the same sentence. I preface this by saying I was hesitant to order pappardelle (a broad fettuccine style pasta), as it steers away from the ‘Spaghetti Bolognese’ theme. However, I asked the people, via Facebook of course, if I should ask the chef to substitute the papardelle for spaghetti or linguine, and the people spoke. ‘Leave it, blog readers need to know what they’re in for!’ was one response. With this in mind, I ordered status quo.
The dish sounded better on paper than it looked. I had few more concerns. Firstly, straight away I noticed a mishmash of visible veggies. I don’t like seeing vegetables in my bolognese – I like them cut so fine, or processed, that the flavour is there but the unsightliness isn’t. Second concern was that chunk of bright red centre bottom of the bowl. That’s chili. You may remember how chili went down a few weeks ago – not well. Third concern was the consistency of the sauce – it didn’t seem to gel well. However, I was hoping all of these worries would wash away as soon as the fresh soft home made pasta hit my mouth.
Wrong. The pasta had stuck together. When I went to bite through the clumped sheets, it was hard. Here’s my theory when it comes to pasta: if you can’t make it, it’s OK to fake it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dried pasta such as San Remo and Barilla.
Now to the sauce. They were definitely trying to highlight the meat here – letting the flavour of the meat come through with out masking it with too much else. With Wagyu as the produce, why wouldn’t you let it be the hero? Well, I can tell you why they shouldn’t have. The meat and the entire dish was under-seasoned. The tomato and meat did not mesh well – the sauce was too runny separating itself from the meat clumps. The chili added a tolerable kick but it was all too acidic.
Overall – a runny sauce, under-seasoned, badly cooked pasta. So, what were the highlights, if any? The sheets of papardelle that hadn’t stuck together were very enjoyable to eat. The quality of the meat was fabulous, and I enjoyed biting into the beef albeit for lack of salt. The size was appropriate, and the ratio of sauce-to-pasta was well considered. I must mention that the entree I ate was sensational – I could barely fault it. My dining companion ate the house-made linguine tossed with Black Tiger Prawns, chilli, garlic with tomato & crab broth, which she thoroughly enjoyed. It was only my dish which didn’t deliver. If you haven’t been to Trunk yet, go – just don’t order their papardelle Wagyu bolognese.
Did you know Spaghetti Blogenese is now on Facebook? You can ‘Like it’ here.