It’s been a while since I visited Melbourne’s little Italy, Lygon Street in Carlton – not since Week 19, so I thought I’d pay the wonderfully sweet garlic smelling street a visit. Donnini’s has been around for donkeys years and is a place two people recommended I visit.
The restaurant is unassuming but it was packed and we were lucky to be seated without a booking. I thought this was a good sign for the meal to come, which I was really looking forward to at this point. Donnini’s offer a handmade tagliatelle to accompany their Ragu Bolognese. Tagliatelle is similar to fettucini which is substantially wider than spaghetti.
It arrived and it looked quite red in colour, which is a telltale sign of a tomato dominated sauce. The portion size looked small, but that’s because I ordered the entree size on this occasion. I should note that there was an $11 difference between entree and main sizes – can you believe it? I wasn’t so hungry, so I ordered the entree.
The pasta was lovely – handmade, soft and not mooshy. The sauce was too tomatoey for my liking and the meat didn’t taste incorporated into the sauce – there was just no fusion. This left a strange aftertaste in my mouth.
The sauce was, however of good consistency – not too thin and runny, perhaps a bit too thick and paste-like but only so slightly. I guess I would have liked a bit more fluidity in this one.
Additionally I found the dish under-seasoned. But the positives were the pasta and tenderness of the meat. It wasn’t an epic failure by any means – those who like a more tomato based bolognese would really enjoy this one!
Price: Entree $20.50, Main $31.50
Next weekend is the home cooked bolognese sauce competition. That’s right – I want to try YOUR sauce (if you live in Melbourne, of course!). If you think you make a mean bolognese and wish to enter email email@example.com to register. Drop-off is all day Saturday in Caulfield (adress and particulars to be confirmed via email). Join the event on Facebook here.