151 Waverley Road, Malvern East VIC 3145 Australia
It was on the way to my usual Sunday haunt – the Buddhist Society of Victoria’s Malvern temple – that it became necessary to stop by and have a quick dinner. Not that I was complaining, of course. After all, on the other end of Waverley road lay a screening of Zeitgeist and I was not in the mood for conspiracy theories.
So why not pop in to a local restaurant? Running quickly out of options, I made a hasty decision and went for a little place called Via Fratelli. Small, most likely family-run establishment. Not too shabby. Decor was bright but not too much so that you notice. A good wood-fired oven full of freshly-made pizzas was the first thing I was attracted to. The aromas coming from this one were already beginning to make my mouth water. No time to waste, I reminded myself.
Sitting down at a neat little table in a very narrow hallway, I was rather disappointed to notice that the kitchen took up more space than the actual restaurant. The menu selections were slightly bland, but then again I reminded myself of why I was here. The service was prompt and ready, which is always a nice thing in a restaurant that was starting to look disappointing.
Looking through the selection, I decided upon a chicken and mushroom risotto, something I hadn’t had in ages. It came steaming hot in a simple soup bowl, unadorned and very plain-looking. Suspecting a trick, I ate the first bite very slowly. And there was indeed a surprise waiting in that first bite. The risotto was rich and creamy, a texture that I had not felt in a long time, and the tastes were fully savoury, not too salty, not too bland. It was indeed a very surprising dish coming from a very simple restaurant.
After I had devoured it I had that feeling of longing that comes when I have devoured a completely satisfying dinner, a longing to order another and surprise myself again. But thinking back I think I was wise to let that sensation go. Perhaps at another time I will return to sample another surprise, but I am pretty sure it will be without the sharpness of the first.
- First Impressions:6/10
- Atmosphere: 8/10
- Mains: 9/10
- Last Impressions: 7/10
OVERALL SCORE: 30/40