Carboni's Italian Kitchen
5/5 Dayni Rating
The 14th of August was my little sisters 22nd birthday, and after rattling off a list of our favourite restaurants for her to choose from for her birthday dinner, she chose one we’ve never been to before. Carboni’s Italian Kitchen. We’d attempted to get a table at Carboni’s on a whim, I think it was probably over a year ago now, but we just popped in, no reservation and of course there wasn’t a spare table available all night. So learn from our mistakes and book ahead of time! Because it’s such a popular restaurant, and for very good reason!
Carboni’s Italian Kitchen pays homage to Raffaello Carboni, an Italian national who arrived on the Ballarat goldfields in 1853. The restaurants black facade and striking white logo make it a beacon amidst the mostly residential street of Eureka Street. Through the doors, there’s a shiny black Vespa to your right, a statue of David adorning the entrance to the function room, prints of old Fiats and Italian race cars line the walls, a floor to ceiling bookshelf filled with beautiful Italian wines, a portrait of a gorgeous young lass on a Vespa is painted on the gorgeous red brickwork, and a huge variety of Italian goods sits in produce crates mounted on the walls. It’s cosy, classy, eclectic, quirky.. it’s Italian through and through!
”At Carboni’s you’ll experience authentic Italian food from the smell of wood fire ovens in Naples to the fresh taste of seafood of Sicily, from bold pasta dishes of Bologna to clean flavours of Florence, funky music, modern decor and attentive service... A presto!”
The food at Carboni’s was absolutely incredible! We just so happened to be dining at Carboni’s on a Wednesday, and on Wednesdays, the Special Cheese-wheel pasta is on the menu. I knew that was what I wanted before I’d even walked through the door, and I was a little sceptical when I saw that it had Blue Cheese in it, because I’m not a fan of Blue Cheese!!, but I pulled up my big girl pants and went for it, and boy am I glad I did! It was a huge serving, and so by the end of the night my plate had made it all the way around the table and it was a favourite of everyone’s! Very cheesy, but who doesn’t love cheesy! Except for William, William was seated at the head of the table, and he had ordered himself the Carboni’s Classic Antipasti Platter for two to three people, all to himself for his main, and I have never seen him so excited about food! He barely even took a glance at my Cheese-wheel pasta!, he was off in his own little world!
I know what you’re thinking… I’ve just written a whole paragraph on the mains, that’s very unlike me, I’m usually straight into desserts! We’re getting there, don’t worry!
I spent the days leading up to my sisters birthday slaving away over a gorgeous three tiered hummingbird cake designed to take pride and place as our dessert on her birthday, but then Laura picked Carboni’s. I looked at my cake, I looked at Carboni’s dessert menu, and I called my sister to announce that the cake was now a ‘gift cake’ because I want dessert at Carboni’s!! I literally wanted to try everything on the dessert, menu, and in the end, between the six of us at dinner, we very nearly did! Mum and Laura ordered the Nutella Panna Cotta, which came presented in a beautiful glass with silky Nutella Panna Cotta in the bottom, a layer of Hazelnut infused Belgium Chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries on top. Three of us ordered the Sicilian Cannoli, myself being one of them, and I was in heaven then second I took the first bite. The Cannoli shells were covered in crunchy little bubbles, the smooth ricotta filling contained the perfect amount of citrus to make it taste light and floral but not ‘perfumey’, and when you graced your spoon with the chocolate pistachio crumble adorning the plate it just took all those beautiful flavours to a whole new level! Then, dads dessert came out. I had talked him into ordering it because, despite his Gluten Free diet, his favourite dessert has always been Tiramisu, and so he was more than willing to cop the Gluten in order to grace his taste-buds with his favourite dessert. Then, I noticed the Tartufo, and being the foodie in the family, he trusted me enough to give it ago.
TARTUFO - Cocoa coated house made vanilla and chocolate gelato dome served with a dash of hazelnut liqueur and toasted hazelnuts.
When it was brought to our table, I was in awe of the presentation of this Tartufo. Our waiter explained to my dad as he slid it onto the table that Tartufo in Italian means truffle, and the dessert is named so because it looks like a giant truffle. What a unique dessert! Dad was practically drooling over it while I stole it away to snap some photos. The sacrifices this family makes for this blog I tell you! Dads not a man of many words when it comes to describing his food, but he ate every bite with a smile on his face, so you can draw your own conclusions.
The Cheese-Wheel, if you’re lucky enough to be at Carboni’s on Wednesday, I highly recommend, not only because it was delicious, but also because the theatre of it when it’s brought out to your table makes for a really fun and authentic dinning experience.
Hubby is insisting that I recommend the Carboni’s Classic Antipasti Platter that he disappeared into during dinner. I have to admit, it did look amazingly good!
The Sicilian Cannoli was DIVINE! I can’t even put it into words how much I am in love with this dessert, so just trust me, and order at least one Sicilian Cannoli when the time for dessert rolls around, even if it’s alongside something else, you HAVE to try it!.
And if you’re a chocolate fan, I highly recommend the Tartufo. The house-made gelato was gorgeously rich and creamy, the chopped hazelnuts on-top and the hint of liqueur was just bellissimo! Plus, I love a dessert with a backstory.