Spaghetti Tree is a large Italian restaurant housed in the theatre district at the top end of Bourke. Its neighbours are legendary – in clear view from the window you see Grossi Florentino and Pellegrini’s. Three levels above is one of my favourite bars Madame Brussels, and only a few doors down is the amazing Italian eatery Mess Hall (who sadly don’t do spag bol on their menu). Spaghetti Tree doesn’t have the same charm as it’s neighbours, but it is still very Melbourne. It’s icon is its neon sign above the door, and their claim, of course, is that Spaghetti Tree’s bolognese is the best.
It arrived. The first thing I noticed was chunky carrots, which bothered me. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: there is no place for chunky vegetables in my spag bol! I then took notice of the rich colour, that the sauce was stirred through and the garnish.
I took my first bite into a little chunk of meat, and I immediately tasted that the meat was dry and bland, lacking juiciness or seasoning in the clumps of meat, which was a shame. But, I then stirred my fork through to get a mixture of all its elements; pasta, sauce, cheese, carrot, meat clumps, and surprisingly it tasted better than I had anticipated after my first bite – the sauce worked well as a whole. It was though still lacking in seasoning.
Texture wise, the sauce was a good consistency. The downfall was definitely the roughly chopped carrots, but some people love this in a sauce. At least the carrot was soft. The spaghetti was cooked correctly, leaving a slight al dente chewiness to each bite.
This bolognese was interesting in that the some elements individually weren’t so great, but together they carried each other to create a tasty sauce. I wouldn’t say this spag bol was particularly special, but it was a very comfortable pass.
Price: entree $15.50, main $19.00