Before coming to Italy 1 on Bourke Road, Camberwell, I checked out the reviews for it on Urbanspoon and it was very mixed. Having that in mind, my overall experience with Italy 1 is good, it definitely is on the upper scale of your dining experience ($$$) but I found the food here to be mostly fantastic bar a few.
As an entree we ordered the Mussels it is cooked with a tomato sugo and seasoned with garlic and tomatoes (mainly). The staff mentioned the mussels here are of a higher quality and so that’s why the mussels are tinier than in most places. The mussels were indeed lovely and fresh and I really couldn’t get enough of the slightly salty, spicy tomato sauce that is flavoured with mussels.
Italy 1’s Baked Scallops were a bit of a downer, the scallops were tiny comparatively to the shell it comes in with the cheesy crust on top being mostly too crusty to gel well with the soft scallop. The scallop was very tasty I must admit but for the price, I don’t believe it’s worth it.
Onto the mains, the Roast Duck with greens was fantastic. The duck was perfectly cooked, and melts in your mouth with all the juices. The sauce that accompanies it, is interesting. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the ingredients sued but it went well with the duck and salad.
The “Rotolo” (hand rolled egg pasta) filled with Spinach and Ricotta, baked and served with burnt sage butter was absolutely divine. You certainly can’t have too much of this because it’s so damn rich with cheese, but the flavours of the ricotta and spinach are bursting out, and the cheesiness of it mixes so well. The baked pasta is crispy and almost pastry like, like a quiche but slightly delicate inside. Yummy
The Duck Ragu with Sage and Pancetta Risotto wasn’t too great to be honest. Overly salty, either from the cheese or duck and slightly under seasoned. It lacked any real distinct flavours but the duck was very tender which is a plus along with the risotto itself cooked al dente.
The Linguine Marinara with mussels, clams, prawns, scallops, fish and seasoned with chilli, parsley and garlic was another winner at Italy 1. The linguine was cooked perfectly (there wasn’t enough!) but I guess the centre pieces of the dish are the seafood so that’s understandable. Seafood overall were fresh and tasty and seasoned well. Really lovely.
For dessert we ordered Tiramisu. Very light but creamy and chocolatey, and with just enough liqueur to keep it moist. Distinct and defined layers. I do prefer Tiramisu to be slightly chilled and although it was served room temperature, it was delicious.
I believe the desserts change slightly on their specials board, but when we dined there the gelato selection was Raspberry, Goat’s Milk and Cassata with crunchy caramel shards. For a sweet treat, the Raspberry gelato was bursting full of raspberry flavour (and slightly sour). I’m finding it that I actually prefer cream based ice cream as opposed to water based simply because the water based varieties are simply much too sweet but on this occasion it wasn’t too bad (it was the sweetest of the three)
The Cassata flavour I believe is based on the cassata cake dessert which is a sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur, ricotta cheese, cream and candied peel. This was definitely an interesting flavour, and mixed with it were I believe some candied fruit pieces. I’ve never tried this before but would definitely order it again. Tasty
The goat’s milk on first taste was slightly odd because I’ve never tried an ice cream that was just milk but after my initial shock I really enjoyed it. It was milky (of course) and creamy and not too sweet. Probably the best of the three actually.
As mentioned in my opening paragraph, some of the dishes weren’t as good as others but overall I found it to be a very satisfying experience and the staff here are lovely too. Great food, nice ambience on a Saturday night. Price might be an issue for some but it’s good for a night out once in a while.
823 Burke Rd
Camberwell VIC 3124
There sure are an insurmountable number of eateries just in the Mornington Peninsula. Us Melburnians are definitely spoilt for choice.
Mainly wineries were open on the Monday that we decided to take a trip down there, if you come down on a weekend I’m sure it’d make deciding what’s for lunch… or just a snack even harder.
I think we bad some bad luck finding some breweries on a weekday though. We tried the Red Hill Brewery but to no avail, it did have a quaint look to it and well I’ve heard some good things about it.
Finally we found a ‘Beer Garden’ called Pig & Whistle, it has that old bar feel to it. A bit country, a bit pub but homely and welcoming is what you get too.
It has two separate areas, one is the bar which serves mainly the alcohol and pub food. The menu looked decent, it had the standard fare of fish and chips, pies and well if I can recall, pizzas.
Then there is the restaurant area, which has indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating was plentiful and it actually looked quite nice, plus it was a good day but I do prefer the indoors when eating a meal so we decided to seat inside.
The inside of Pig & Whistle is filled with old mugs and 50s/60s memorabilia, from the looks of it anyway with many posters and frames all hanging around. It has that older carpet/country smell that you get from some B&Bs or a motel but it didn’t really detract from my experience.
The menu selection was decent, it had a mix of cultural foods from Italian, Thai, and the Australian/English varieties and local and international alcoholic beverages. As I have an undying love for all things risotto, I picked a Seafood Risotto as one of the specials of the day.
It was really quite good. Had a generous quantity of prawns, scallops and mussels (If I can recall) and was seasoned nicely. The rice was cooked well too. It was tomato based with some grated cheese on top and it all worked pretty well. One of the better risottos I’ve eaten, and was pleasantly surprised in the end.
All in all, we had a perfectly good meal. Service was decent, it might have come a bit later then we expected but nothing to raise arms about. After our lunch, we headed to their garden to check out the views and flowers.
The Pig and Whistle definitely has made it’s mark in the area, catering for everything you could possible want. Their dessert menu looked good too but we were stuffed!
Check it out for yourself!
Open from 11.00am every day until late
1429 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road