When I first embarked on this bolognese eating journey I was excited to eat at the city’s best Italian restaurants. It didn’t take long for me to realise that a lot of the good ones don’t have spaghetti bolognese on their menu: Cicciolina, Sarti, Becco and St Peter’s to name a few. I mean, I get it – spag bol is a very pedestrian dish. When I got a tweet from the chef at Sapore saying bolognese has been added to their Autumn menu, I got VERY excited. I’ve eaten at this St Kilda One Hat restaurant before and had an exceptional meal, so I was looking forward to tasting their rendition of my dish of choice.
The bolognese reads on their menu as follows: ‘hand cut spaghettini with a veal, pork and beef ragu’. Spaghettini is a finer style of spaghetti, and a type of pasta I haven’t tasted with bolognese before. I was intrigued. The plate arrived to the table and it looked humble and elegant.
The ragu was quite light in colour. It was very tasty – it had a developed yet subtle flavour, and the three meats could be differentiated well, especially the pork with a light sweet note. The tomato balance was spot on, as was the seasoning. From a flavour standpoint – it was really enjoyable.
Texturally speaking, this one was like no other. The ragu was quite fine, which I didn’t mind at all. The meat was incredibly tender and just delicious to bite into. The sauce had great viscosity. As for the pasta – it was exceptionally made. It was soft with an appropriate chew and bite. The super fine strands had a rough texture which helped the ragu cling to it. The problem for me was that while the pasta was amazing on it’s own, I don’t think it worked well with the ragu – it was just too fine for my liking and took away from the sauce. It tasted very fiddly in my mouth and confused me. I was looking forward to a more hearty pasta to carry the sauce. [Best comparisons here: a) the sensation of eating thin rice noodles when you expect thick hokkien or b) traditional Jewish-style chicken soup that contains size No.1 Sniders Lokshen (egg vermicelli) when size No.2 is preferred].
Pasta aside, it was a really well-done bolognese. It was lighter than the ones I’ve had previously, which was refreshing. The flavour notes all came through without it being a very heavy beefy kind of sauce.
Price: Entree $19, Main $27