Sunday, 8 January 2012

Da Noi - Melbourne - 95 Toorak Road, Toorak

OK, so this is my favourite restaurant in Melboure - hands down below zero.

I can't tell you how many times I have been here and I should earn a commission for recommending it to so many people.

It is Sardinian and is cooky and knooky like the village restaurants in Italy.

Around 12 years ago a work colleague said to me "I bet you haven't been to Da Noi". Not only had I not been, I had not heard of it - I was mortified by this actually. So I went the next day for a client lunch. But I was with a triathelete (who as a rule do not appreciate good food) and a girl who doesn't eat and it was also at a time when some Aussies were less adventurous. We had a choice of the chef's menu or a la carte. I so desperately wanted the chef's menu (where the chef cooks whatever) and tried hard to get my way (which I usually do) but the client had the final say - a la carte it was. Yes, it was excellent (I still remember the seafood with fregola) but I had a feeling the chef's menu would be fanfriggintastic. So I spoke to my parents and a booking was made for Saturday that week. Dad said it was "not bad" which means "oh my god, this is the most senfrigginsational Italian I have ever had in Melbourne". Ok, enough with the history lesson.

The menu starts with lots of small tasty dishes of anything from pickled octopus to eggplant parmagiana and zucchini with goats cheese.

Although, the waiters will deny it, there used to be a soup course after starters which for me was the best and most interesting - there is nothing like a bone marrow in your soup. While I am always mildly annoyed that soup was dropped, I do let it go by the time I hit pasta. If you score the rabbit fettucine, you have hit the jackpot. But there are others almost as perfect - crab mousse in tortellini or ravioli with snapper, saffron sauce and broccolini.

The main can be rabbit with fregola, spatchcock or suckling pig (I am not a big pig lover but I do like this).

And for dessert, there is a selection but you gotta have the panna cotta, I think it is made with goats milk. Ask for this at the beginning so they can save you some.

The wine list is great. Can't tell you the name of one wine but rely on the waiters and they will recommend well.

The prices is more expensive than the $60 we paid 12 years ago, around $93 (exlcuding alcohol) today but it is worth it.

Da Noi on Urbanspoon

9/10. Enough said.


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