I can’t count the amount of times I’ve found myself planning a night in staring at dozens of take-away menus for lengthy periods of time trying to ‘branch out’ and then finally resort to ordering a Harros spag bol. It always hits the spot. Harros, in St Kilda, has been my local Italian take-away place for many years. It serves well as a takeaway spot, but is also up-market enough (still with a very relaxed neighbourhood feel) to dine in and comfortably enjoy a meal. I’ve even seen Rachel Griffiths, a St Kilda native, enjoy a meal with her family here.
In honour of my blog, I opted to eat-in on this occasion.
Harros Spaghetti Bolognese fares OK. For a quick weekend dinner, it serves its purpose very well – better than other local Italian places I’ve tried. However, when sitting down to dissect their rendition for the blog, a few flaws are noticed. Presentation wise, I have no serious qualms. I did notice the sauce to be slightly runny, sinking to the bottom of the bowl leaving a vibrant red liquid surrounding the pasta.
From a flavour standpoint, I loved the balance of tomato and meat in this dish – one didn’t overpower the other, and I could see tomato skin throughout the sauce, which added a lovely sweetness and texture. Speaking of texture, the clumps of meat in this sauce was on the medium side. The sauce coated the al dente pasta well, but as mentioned earlier it was slightly runnier than how I enjoy it.
By far the biggest letdown was the lack of seasoning. Cook a well balanced beautiful bolognese, but the lack of salt and pepper in the initial stages of cooking the meat while developing the flavours throughout the slow cooking time, puts all that hard work to waste. As I bit into the chunks of Bolognese, a layer of seasoning was seriously missing. Yes, I understand that customers are invited to add their own salt and pepper, but it needs to be present from the beginning, which I could barely trace.
The portion size scared me at first, but I managed to get through the bowl without too much effort. There was a nice amount of sauce left at the end to enjoy with bread. Overall, an OK dish – certainly not a disaster, and a dish I will continue to eat on Sunday nights for years to come.