Restaurant Review – il Gusto Italian Restaurant (Melbourne)

Published September 14, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, hope this post finds everyone well. I was so tired, hoping that this morning I wouldn’t get called into work so I can catch up on my beauty sleep. Thankfully, my dream came true. I woke up and it was nearly mid day..hehehe I know it’s pretty slack, but I needed that sleep due to previous night of not much sleep thanks to the cup of tea. So today, I went to QV & Vic Market to do some grocery shopping and bought some nice herbal tea, now I can drink them knowing that I’ll still be able to sleep. Okies, as some of you might know in Melbourne there’s heaps of great restaurants, and on Lygon street you get the whole streets worth of Italian Restaurants. Decisions, decisions, which one is better – and watch out too there’s usually people harassing you trying to get you to go inside to their restaurant and give you special discounts and bargains.

So this particular restaurant was recommended by one of our friend, whos been there before and said they do awesome pastas. So we thought let’s give it a try. Straight away you can spot this Italian Papa looking dude standing outside the restaurant with a menu asking customers to go in and try. Then you realise that this restaurant don’t give any discounts or bargains. So we were curious and asked the Papa why? He replied with an Italian accent cos our price is so cheap already and our food is so good we don’t need to give any discount!!

When you walked into the restaurant you can see the red table clothes, the whole decor of the restaurant looks Italian with it’s flags danging from the rail. It’s quite a small restaurant but there’s also upstairs as well. We were greeted by Indian looking waiters who were really friendly. Our friend managed to bargain with Italian Papa for a bruschetta for free..

They were a little on the stingy side, there are four of us and we only received 3 bruschetta and the Italian Papa recommended us sharing an entree squid dish – which was a main size. He was rather clever or should I say cunning in recommending us that dish as it was so expensive for a few squid..

The squids were nicely done but there was only 8 pieces of them – for the price we pay – I think we got slugged hehehe so Italian Papa won by giving us a free Bruschetta – but it’s not really free after all.

Then we decided most Italian servings of pastas are quite huge, so both Pandabear and I went for the entree size pasta rather than the main size, the waiter was trying to persuade us into getting a mains size. But we stuck to our decisions and it was a wise one too!

spaghetti marinara

spaghetti marinara

Our friends had the spaghetti marinara and Pandabear and I decided to share a salmon tomato based pasta and a chicken & avocado creamy pasta.

Chicken Avocado Pasta

Chicken Avocado Pasta

The presentations of the pasta looked pretty cook, but well as for taste it was a little disappointing. Our friends seemed have enjoyed their spaghetti marinara but as for our pasta, the salmon tomato based pasta the sauce tasted like it came from the jar, not fresh and neither does the pasta taste fresh tasted like it’s a dried pasta. For the chicken & avocado pasta – the avocados was overpowering, all we could taste was the avocado and once again the pasta didn’t taste fresh. So we were both glad we had the entree size.

So after we finish our meals, they ask us whether we wanted any dessert, we said no. I spotted at the counter an Indian guy standing there. I was curious so I asked Italian Papa whether he owns the restaurant and he said No! Who owns this restaurant then he points it to the Indian guy and the chef is Indian too? He said yes, but Italian trained..um…that will explain it, unfortunately, I’m one of those people that believe if you want excellent Japanese food you must eat at one with a Japanese chef. Now there’s always exceptions like if they are trained overseas and have mastered their skills at that particular cuisine. That would explain why the pasta just didn’t taste quite right.

Here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 3 star
Food experience: 3 star
Would I recommend it? No – sorry, feel abit ripped off by the squid dish and the pastas were not up to scratch!

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