I’ve always loved Ladro – the fit-out, service and food at both their Prahran and Fitzroy locations are very well done. Their pizzas are insane – definitely one of my favourite pizzerias in Melbourne. I had never eaten pasta at Ladro, and Spaghetti Bolognese doesn’t live on the menu. But, I was told that when the chefs are in the mood, Linguine Bolognese graces the restaurant. It was my lucky day earlier this week in their Greville Street Prahran restaurant.
The Ladro Linguine Bolognese looked sexy – fine shavings of lovely parmesan cheese adorned the rich coloured sauce, which was generous in portion and stirred though. My first impression was it was going to be a goody judging on it’s consistency, colour and smell.
So, did the taste live up to it’s appearance? Why yes, yes it did. The sauce was wonderfully rich, flavoured, developed and well balanced. The meat, delicious and complex (Twitter tells me three meats are used in this traditional recipe – I suspect beef, veal and pork). I enjoyed the consistency of the sauce – nice sized clumps of meat bound together with a thick sauce that was runny enough to comfortably mop up with a piece of their artisan bread but not too runny that it ran away from the meat, if you get my drift. So, what I’m trying to say is the sauce was thick with right amount of viscosity. I loved the sweet note that was appropriately balanced with a developed tomato flavour.
The pasta, although thicker than Spaghetti, was lovely. There was a nice rough texture to the strands, which Ladro buys in fresh, that it clung to the sauce well. The portion size was perfect, however there was too much sauce making the ratio of pasta-to-sauce off balance. Also, the dish could have done with a touch more pepper. Overall, a delicious hearty Bolognese – the kind I often have a hankering for on a Sunday night.
Note: dishes which score 16+ are contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best Spaghetti Bolognese. All scores above 16/20 will be disclosed at the end of the year long taste testing.