We are today at the end of our babymoon, how quickly did this week go by? We checked out of our hotel around 11 and decided to head into St Kilda for a wonder and find a place for lunch.
St Kilda is generally filled with tourist trap eateries as we walked along Acland St but found Cicciolina that was packed with looked like local patrons. It’s refreshing to have a decent place to eat when you feel like something more on the homemade side.
It’s a great spot to have a catch-up with friends but be warned, they don’t take bookings and the restaurant is rather small but don’t loose heart: when the dinner diners start pouring in (and you’re still on your lunch starter) make your way into the moody, old school St Kilda back bar to continue your ‘lunch’.
With the introduction of the back bar came the prized booth seats, the antipasto platter generous, an extensive wine list and the cocktails list is great too. So come, have a pre-dinner drink and tasty treat to stimulate your appetite whilst waiting for your table, if indeed you still want it.
There’s lots of energy in this room, the ambience is informal and the service is brisk, yet even amongst the throng, you feel completely cosseted. This is due, in part, to the food. Chef Virginia Redmond has a genuine feeling for fresh produce and the resultant dishes encompass balanced flavours that are clean and true to their source. We knew we were in for a treat!
We stuck with a main each, not wanting to stuff ourselves before getting on a plane. John ordered tubetti pasta with pork cheek, bacon, chilli, oregano in a tomato sugo. Tubetti pasta is small tubular pasta cooked al dente with bacon pieces, tender bits of pork cheek which have been cooked for ages in the tomato sugo. It was delicious!
My lunch was taccozette pasta with prawns, soy beans, spring onions & chilli with a saffon veloute. The thick flat pasta was soft and velvety with a hint of chilli and the prawns were so fresh too! It was so good that if I could lick the plate up, I would!
What a lovely last meal in Melbourne. Cicciolina provides a resoundingly enjoyable meal. With that and the vibrant Acland Street evening atmosphere in mind, it is not difficult to understand the affection showered on it by its devotees.
On the whole, 9 for food quality, 9 for atmosphere, 9 for pricing ($70 for the meal including drinks) and 9 for service.
130 Acland St
St Kilda, Victoria
Tel: 03 9525 3333