Food review

Week 45: Cicciolina

I’ve used the word s’classic’ and ‘icon’ a few times to describe some of the restaurants I’ve visited on this blog journey, and nothing rings more true than for St Kilda’s gem, Cicciolina. Cicciolina is one of Melbourne’s most loved Italian restaurants, having been crowned with a chefs hats for many consecutive years.

When eating at Cicciolina, diners must be prepared to wait (on occasion up to two hours) as this is one of the first Melbourne restaurants to not take bookings. Luckily they house a warm cosy bar at the back for diners to enjoy delicious bar food and their extensive wine list while waiting. They do however take lunch bookings.

Cicciolina spaghetti bolognese

The bolognese presented a deep colour with ample sauce to enjoy – stirred through and dolloped on top. I liked the flavour of this sauce – it was rather intense and herbaceous with many layers to taste.

The sauce was quite rich and had the subtlety of an array of herbs to freshen the flavour. The consistency of the sauce was how I enjoy – thick. On top of this, the clump sizes of the meat were perfect for my liking. The meat was tender, the pasta was al dente and there wasn’t much to fault with this one.

Cicciolina’s have their bolognese (and most of their menu) down pat. The only thing deterring me from this one was the sauce being slightly too rich and intense for me. The balance was right but it could have been toned down a little – then again, I’m quite picky these days.

Price: $19.50
Score: 16+

Note: dishes which score 16+ are contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best Spaghetti Bolognese. All scores above 16/20 will be disclosed at the end of the year long taste testing in September 2012.

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