Etto / South Melbourne
Melbourne’s hottest new pasta joint ‘Etto,’ has opened up in my local area and i’ve fallen in love. Coming from a graphic design background, this sexy branding caught my attention.
After setting such a high standard from their branding, I was anxious to see how good the food would be. Despite seeing similar typography/branding around, Etto has a unique style and a great sense of authenticity in delivering the best ‘Italian street pasta’.
Pasta is one of my favourite things in the world, so I was excited to see a place which specialises in fresh pasta.
Cute simple interior with a modern design, seating around 10 people inside. The ambiance was laid back and warm with a fun, family friendly environment.
Outside seating available for rush hour or outdoor friendly days, although I think majority of the customers choose the take-away option. I wouldn’t blame them, as the food comes in a trendy brown paper bag. Perfect for lunches, dinner, or an afternoon snack if you’re a fatty.
The beautiful typography is carried all the way through their branding, with the menu including info-graphics of pasta. The deal is - you pick your pasta, and then you pick your sauce to stir through, or a salad. It’s impossible to go wrong, as everything in the menu looks delicious.
There’s no need to fear if you don’t know what “rigatoni” or “pappardelle” or “tagliatelle” is. Etto has fresh pasta all labeled or info-graphicised for your learning pleasure. And if you’re still stuck, i’m sure a little bit of human interaction won’t hurt. The staff here are very friendly.
Lauren got the smoked salmon and roast capers with dill, rocket and lemon infused olive oil with desiree potato gnocchi. I had a few bites and was in gnocchi heaven.
Gnocchi was ultra fluffy and moist, and sauce was deliciously flavoursome. I would have chosen this sauce if I liked rocket - it’s one of the very few ingredients I am still learning to like.
Justine ordered the basil and pine nut pesto in a light cream sauce with toasted herb pine nuts. Delicious pesto flavour and once again a delicate light and fluffy gnocchi.
Pesto has a tendency to be quite rich, which was also applied onto this dish. I personally love pesto, and enjoyed the 3 spoonfuls I managed to steal.
My choice on the menu was the smoky pancetta carbonara with crunchy breadcrumbs in a light white wine cream sauce. I got it with spinach tagliatelle. No regrets, and a rare occurrence - no food envy!
A great carbonara sauce, with excellent texture and crunch added by the breadcrumbs. The sauce was light and creamy and releasing a beautiful flavour without overpowering the delicious smoky pancetta. The spinach tagliatelle added a bit of green to the dish to make it a bit ‘healthier.’
At first glance, I judged the serving size as it was tiny and was immediatley dissapointed - however, by the end of our meals, we full and very satisfied. The girls even had about 4 gnocchi pieces left over (which I ate of course.) At around $12 a dish, this pasta is great quality and excellent value. I will definitely be back to try the rest of the menu.
View ForkSake in a larger map
Etto Italian Street Pasta
251 Clarendon Street
Boat Builders Yard / South Wharf
This eatery screams rustic with a comforting, warm and inviting environment. Located just around the corner from me, in the South Wharf promenade, I can easily see this place turning into my ‘local’ for summer.
This place has an exuberant balance of romanticism, quality and trendiness while remaining on earth. The inviting nature of this place makes it suitable to meet up with friends, go on a casual date with a few beers or dine alone.
Outdoor area open and refreshing, great for smokers and/or drunk people - but hey, everywhere is good for drunk people. A large area to stretch your legs, or invite your friends.
I think advertising on bicycles is the new thing, I mean who doesn’t love bicycles?
A great variety of seating options. Cute rustic waterside seating. I sat here with my partner on a warm evening with a cold beer, absolute bliss. Careful not to have too many beers, you could fall into the Yarra and die.
Food pick up station. I love the anticipation of waiting for my ‘waiting disk’ to beep to notify my food is ready. It has some sort of futuristic feel along with a sense of accomplishment, even though there is nothing for me to accomplish, I just sat on my ass.
The inside café, decked out with the remains of the old boatbuilders yard it use to be. Simple interior with little details which adds a sense of uniqueness and approachability.
The inside of the café is nice and cosy, with a log fireplace and friendly staff. If you are lucky enough to get a seat by the fire on a cold day, I would recommend you stay forever. If you’re stuck in the rain, The Boatbuilders Yard kindly offers you their umbrellas to borrow.
Cabinet food looked great too. Unsure what those white packages are, perhaps some sort of spring roll or something. Anyway, it looked delicious.
The bar is super cool, decent size but I guess it has to be for such a large venue. Great thing they have eftpos/pay pass too.
Bacon and egg roll, as advertised on the bicycle. Cabinet food but I think the staff made it fresh. Cheap but hearty and mighty delicious.
Poached eggs on toast with thick cut bacon and a hash brown. The bacon and the hash brown are pure quality and full of flavour.
I was a fatty and got the Boatbuilders Breakfast, Eggs, Tomato, Cheese Kransky, Thick Cut Bacon, Hash Brown, Mushroom. Delicious, and being such a manly dish, I think it increased my testosterone/manly level.
Unfortunately they don’t do all day breakfast; however they have a delightful lunch menu.
Chicken ciabatta roll available from the cabinet. Something lighter so you don’t feel too gluggy when you enjoy it with a nice cold beer.
Beef Bourguignon Pot Pie, Peas, Potato & Parsnip Puree. Parsnip puree delectable. Everything cooked beautifully. Fresh vegetables make for a less guilty dish, although it still would be brilliant without.
Battered Flathead Fillets, Chips, Coleslaw, Tartare Sauce. This was the guilty dish, however sometimes when you’re by water you crave these things. Deep fried deliciousness. There is also a lump of coleslaw hiding at the back there to refresh that dirty palate.
Braised Rabbit - Pancetta, Shallots, Winter Veg. Absolutely delectable, tender meat falling off the bone, full of flavour and warmth.
They also have a mini-bar outside too with delicious organic sausages. You can choose either prime beef, lamb merguez, duck and pistachio or vietnamese pork roll.
I got the duck and pistachio sausage, delicate rich flavour. The mustard and tomato sauce was ‘self service’ hence why it looks so shit. The sauce also did not compliment the sausage that well, perhaps a relish would have been nice. For $9 you can’t really complain though. It was the perfect afternoon snack.
View ForkSake in a larger map
The Boatbuilders Yard is a great place to relax and catch up with friends, suitable for a lot of occasions breakfast/coffee/lunch/bar however, everything is self service. You have to order at the bar, water is available from the ‘water station’, you pick your food up from the ‘food pick up station.’ and you have to eat the food yourself. It’s a good trade off for excellent food and a great vibe.
The Boatbuilders Yard
03 9686 5088
23 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf, VIC 3006
Na Siam / Melbourne
After saving up a few dollars by skipping a couple of meals, I could finally afford a cheap dinner out. So Luke and I headed across the road to the local Thai takeaway restaurant. I know it’s takeaway restaurants aren’t amazing, but it beats the effort of budgeting $5 cooked meals at home with missing ingredients, risking dissatisfaction and or depression. Na Siam’s menu is simple, you can choose a dish quickly and get it over and done with.
The owners were friendly. They don’t seem to get a whole lot of business so, this made it comfortable for a quick and casual after work dinner, not being surrounded by dumb people (after long hours of dealing with people at work.) Stark takeaway ambience, almost like a waiting room, but thank god I don’t have to do the dishes.
Thai Red Curry, I didn’t get food poisoning and it was only $8.90. Who can complain with that? They also went to the extra effort to dish it up in proper plates and bowls this time, (It was plastic last time,) perhaps it’s because they saw me taking photos of the whole place - or maybe they are just nice people. Oh and the curry was pretty tasty too, creamy, and flavoursome. Value for money.
Somewhere on King Street