Category Archives: Italian

Melt Pizza

171 Chapel St, Windsor

Pizza

http://www.melt.com.au/

Melt is a new pizza restaurant which aims to bring the traditional Napoli pizza to Chapel St, but with a modern twist.

The restaurant has a bright and modern feeling with white tiles and terracotta roof tiles on the wall, and the large stone pizza oven in the corner cranked up to 400 degrees.  In addition to the indoor seating, there is alfresco seating out the front and back of the restaurant, and a private room.

Melt1

There is no shortage of hipster staff who were all very friendly, although shouldn’t the beardy ones be wearing beardnets?  The ordering process allows you to either pick a pizza from the menu or create your own from the large array of ingredients.  Either way, all the pizzas are 11 inches (although I’m not sure if that’s measured by a girl or a guy).  The dough goes from ball to cooked pizza remarkably quickly especially given it takes just 2 minute to cook in the oven.

melt2

The pizza had a crispy thin base and stacked with enough rocket to disguise the fact that there were supposed to be prawns on there somewhere.  It was very tasty and had a good chilli kick.  My sole complaint is that leaving tails on the prawns makes the pizza very messy to eat so I’d rather they were removed prior to cooking.

melt3

The restaurant is licenced and has a small but reasonable collection of wines and beers and ciders.  They also sell salads, panuozzos (woodfired sandwiches), doughballs, meatballs and gelato.  I think Melt is on to a good thing, and it was certainly busy enough to suggest it’ll be very successful.

Melt Pizza on Urbanspoon

Mulatta

50 Chapel St, Windsor

Pizza/Italian

Maybe this place is a step above your average takeaway pizza joint but I’m not sure it offered enough to make me come rushing back.  The decor is inviting with Italian rustic charm and makes the most of the exposed red brick walls.  The waitress took ages to serve us as she was setting out cutlery on empty tables rather than serving the few customers they already had.  She was friendly but made me repeat my beer order a number of times until I got the Italian pronunciation correct – a bit like being back in school.

I ordered gnocchi ragu from the specials board, and my friends choose the linguine pescatore and the caprese pizza.  Ten minutes after ordering the waitress returned and asked my friend who ordered the linguine if it was food.  Or at least that’s what the three of us heard her ask even though it made no sense.  He said yes and she walked off happy.  She returned another five minutes later to ask if the linguine was with Napoli sauce or olive oil as she’d failed to ask when taking the order.  It was starting to not bode well for his meal.

nutella

When the food finally arrived it was all good hearty Italian fare so I can’t complain about the meals.  The pizza base was light and crispy and was cooked in a traditional wood fired oven.  The pastas were tasty and reasonable portions.  With more attentive service, the restaurant could certainly be quite appealing.

pizza linguine

Apologies to the random nature of the photos, I accidentally deleted half the photos from this evening.

One highlight of the place is, if you decide to get spaghetti and get sauce all over yourself, don’t worry too much, there is a shower in the bathroom – if you don’t mind standing on the Japanese rock garden.

shower

Mulatta on Urbanspoon

Union Hotel

90 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181

Pub food

http://www.unionhotelwindsor.com.au/

Given the day was 40 degrees, to be honest I was just going in for a cold pint during happy hour.  However Thursday is pasta day at the Union with pastas $12 across the board so I took the opportunity to grab some dinner as well.

The Union is a proper pub.  The sort of pub that Sam Newman could film an amusing Street Talk segment, but still caters to family groups and bearded hipsters.  For winters there are a couple of open fires, for summer, the large glass bi-fold doors open up two sides of the pub to the open air tables on the street, and for all year round there are TVs showing sport and live music on the weekends.  To accompany my $6 pint of Carlton I ordered the pork shoulder Pappardelle from the selection of four pasta specials.

I sat down at an outdoor table directly in the sun as there were no shaded tables free.  There was an audible squelch as I sat.  It was definitely a sweaty day.  First things first, I checked in using The Unions iPhone app.  There’s another 5 points towards a free bottle of wine, 4 points to go!  The service was friendly and snappy and I was barely into my pint and a chat with an old acquaintance regarding her tumultuous relationship when my meal turned up.   Timing!

The meal looked very hearty and certainly wasn’t light on with the pork.   It was topped with shredded Parmesan and a slice of garlic bread.  It tasted fantastic, although it was a trick to eat it without slurping it everywhere and at the same time keep from dripping brow sweat into the dish.

It was too hot to hang about in the sun so I didn’t stay for another pint but if you’re looking for a hearty cheap meal on a Thursday night – you can’t go past the pasta deals at The Union.

The Union Hotel Windsor on Urbanspoon

Sauced

148 Chapel St, Windsor.

Pasta Bar

http://saucedpastabar.com/

I wasn’t sure whether to include tonight’s dinner in my blog.  Sauced straddles the line between fast food outlet and restaurant like a penguin riding a donkey.   You order at the counter like a fast food joint and you have an eat-in or takeaway option, but since it’s cooked to order, it’ll take around 15 to 20 minutes to arrive.

Sauced is nestled between the Mexican Fonda and the Spanish San Churro like an international ménage a trois.  The décor inside is industrial minimalist.  White painted brick walls adorned with a large stencil of a pasta maker, concrete floors, and a marble-topped bench which has an interesting end feature designed to make it look like the end of a  stack of 4x2s at a timber yard.  The bench is lit with the now ubiquitous Edison style antique light bulbs, behind which is the open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work.

The menu is a bit of a paint by numbers affair.  You pick your meal size, your pasta type, and then the sauce from either the traditional or the gourmet range.  I chose the regular sized shell pasta with Polo e Fungi sauce from the gourmet range.  I also got some of the Sauced signature Parmesan chips.

When my name was called I went and collected my meal which is presented on a wooden serving board.  The pasta and chips were served in biodegradable dishes made of recycled paper, with metal cutlery and a slice of bread wrapped in brown paper stamped with the Sauced logo.  Both the chips and the pasta had a generous helping of Parmesan cheese applied.

Since I was by myself, I sat at the bar style table in the window that opened onto Chapel St so I could watch the world go by as I ate.  The pasta was piping hot and was a very generous helping.  The chips were a deep golden brown, crispy out the outside and fluffy in the middle, just how they should be.  The pasta appeared to have plenty of mushrooms in it, but was a bit lacking in the chook department.  The main issue however was the sauce.  It was a bit insipid.  Not viscous enough and not particularly flavourful.   I ended up not finishing my meal which is a definite rarity for me.  The helpings were big, but I also got bored with the flavour before I got the bottom of the bowl.

On a previous occasion here I’d had “The 4 P’s” sauce which consists of pumpkin puree, pine nuts, Persian feta and basil pesto and it was delicious and highly recommended.  I think the concept of fresh cooked-to-order product is generally going to be a winner, but the Polo e Fungi sauce was a miss on this occasion.

For me the highlight was probably watching three middle-aged women with comically sized fake tits and some of the biggest lips ever seen on a human head try to squeeze around one of the small outdoor tables with their guinea pig sized dog.  I’d have preferred the highlight was the sauce.

Sauced Pasta Bar on Urbanspoon