Food review

Week 33: Donnini’s

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.

Donnini's taglitelle bolognese

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
Score: 10.5/20

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 to register. Drop-off is all day Saturday in Caulfield (adress and particulars to be confirmed via email). Join the event on Facebook here.

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