Pomodoro Sardo

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2016 has arrived, and I’m frantically trying to catch up on my blog posts from 2015! December involved a lot of eating (A LOT), and quite a bit of it was done at restaurants, so I have a fair bit to write about.

The month started with a trip to Pomodoro Sardo. Rarely does my mum agree to go to a non Indian restaurant, so when she agreed to be my date to an Italian restaurant, I was excited! I think it’s an older generation Indian thing, they prefer to eat at places where they are familiar with the food, and rarely venture out of their comfort zone, but I was proud of my mum for giving Italian a try, other than the usual takeaway pizza, which can barely be classified as Italian food.

Located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, Pomodoro Sardo was a little piece of Italy that I was surprised to have not seen or heard of before. Nevertheless, I went in with an open mind, and an empty stomach, ready to be impressed on both accounts.

The interior of the restaurant is decorated with Italian essentials, red wine glasses, bottles of red wine, and even can of tomatoes! Very practical indeed!

We decided to indulge, and opted for a five course degustation meal, with the only requirements being that we vegetarian and that my mum wanted one of the courses to include a vegetarian pizza. The staff were more than happy to cater to our request, and so the meal commenced.

As with any Italian meal, it began with some complementary focaccia bread. Unfortunately the bread was a little tough, but the olive oil provide for dipping was of a beautiful flavour. Nevertheless, the bread was a mere starter, and we were more interested in the actual menu items!

We started with a couple of small dishes to share. First was the burrata cheese, served with crumbled pistachios, confit cherry tomato, rocket, and dressed with balsamic and olive oil. The first time I had burrata was at Tipo 00 and it was amazing. Unfortunately this has probably set my benchmark for burrata way too high, and Pomodoro Sardo struggled to reach the lofty heights that I had etched in my memory. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, after all, all cheese is good, it was probably even very good, but it wasn't the amazing that I hoped for. The cherry tomatoes were not great, and I would probably prefer them roasted, rather than confit, but you could leave them to the side, and the dish would still be acceptable.

Our next entrée was Pecorino Guttiau. This was amazingly rich, warm cheese sauce, served with crisp flat bread. The bread was dipped into the cheese and the result was amazing. If the burrata from the previous course didn’t meet my expectations, this second course more than made up for it. It did feel very rich and heavy, and I was possibly edging closer to a heart attack with the amount of fat content in the cheese, but it didn’t matter because it was far too delicious to stop eating.

We then moved on to the Melanzana al Forno, otherwise known as eggplant parmigiana. But beware, this is not the humble eggplant parma that you may be expecting, instead it is a delicate dish, with lots of flavours that all work wonderfully together. At the base of the dish as beautiful pieces of eggplant, that have been cooked perfectly so that they melt in your mouth. With this is a rich, sweet tomato sauce and to top the dish a mix of garlicky breadcrumbs and some more delicious cheese. The dish is cooked in a wood fired oven, and that probably made all the difference. It was our favourite dish for the night.

We then moved onto the mains but unfortunately these started off a little lack lustre. Our first main was the Culurgiones. These were little Sardinian pasta parcels, in the same vain as ravioli, but shaped more like dumplings. They were filled with creamed potato and (more) cheese, and served with mint pesto and caramelised walnuts. Unfortunately the pasta was very dense and chewy and nothing like the pasta I would expect from an Italian restaurant. Both my mum and I are also not big fans of mint, and having the mint in the form of a pesto was just too strong. It also didn’t really work with the flavours of the caramelised walnuts. Overall the dish was very heavy and not very tasty, which was disappointing given I thought that pasta would have been one of their fortes.

We also had another pasta dish, this time made from a semolina pasta, the Malloreddus Caccio e Pepe. The dish was served with a plain sauce of pecorino cheese, egg yolk and pepper. Again, this dish was also very dense, and whilst I often appreciate a light sauce to bring out the best qualities of the pasta, if the pasta isn’t up to scratch, a plain sauce is really not going to work. Again, this was another disappointment.

We received our specially requested vegetarian pizza. The pizza was cooked in the wood fired oven, and it was a definite highlight! There was a thin crispy base, and the toppings were fresh and flavourful. We were glad that we had asked for this dish, because it boosted an otherwise substandard main course.

Next we were onto dessert. We were so full, but forced ourselves to activate our dessert stomachs, and indulge in some sweet treats.  Our first desert was a tiramisu. This tiramisu was amazing. Layers of chocolate, cream, coffee flavours and soft sponge cake filled each bite, and I was in heaven. The balance of flavours was perfect, and unlike other tiramisus that I have tasted, the coffee flavours didn’t overpower the palate.

We also had a selection of Sardinian sweets served with ice cream. The sweets were little parcels of pastry, filled with a variety or nuts or custards and they were all delicious. It was the perfect end to the meal.

The staff at Pomodoro Sardo were extremely attentive. I’m not sure if it was the big camera I was wielding, or whether that is just their normal practice, but I felt like I was getting special treatment! They always refilled our water glasses, came out to check that everything was OK, offered more bread on multiple occasions, and even came to apologise if a dish was slightly delayed. It definitely made us feel welcome, and we appreciated the attention.

Overall the food was a bit hit and miss. I think next time, I would order a selection of entrées and pizzas, and share them, rather than order any pasta dishes. And make sure you leave room for dessert, because that tiramisu is a necessity for any diner!

Disclaimer: I dined at Pomodoro Sardo as a guest of Zomato and Pomodoro Sardo, however all opinions are my own.

Pomodoro Sardo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1 comment:

  1. Everyone is a blogger and takes photos of their food these days so doubt they would have cared.