11 Hamilton Street, Surrey Hills
03 9890 4836
- Cavolfiore Fritte (Fried Cauliflower)
- Salsicce (Sausages)
- Fungi Risotto (Mushroom Risotto)
- Pizza Special
It was a pleasant start with the Cavolfiore Fritte and Salsicce. Lightly battered, the crisp golden brown outer gave way to a soft and textured inner of whole cauliflower. Its slight, mushy sensation was well accompanied by a lovely walnut mayo that was creamy yet nutty. Our char-grilled sausages in contrast were exceptionally bold in flavour. The flame grilling ensured a pleasant charcoal aroma that permeated throughout, while the sausage itself was plump and juicy, full of flavour and very well-spiced.
The Fungi Risotto was nothing short of spectacular. Simply presented, the Aborio rice within was perfectly cooked, soft and fluffy without a hint of gooeyness. The rice inherited much flavours from the incredibly creamy and aromatic mushroom sauce that was beautifully cooked with butter and was generously loaded with slices of exceptionally juicy and meaty mushrooms. A simple yet decadent pasta dish that’s flawlessly executed. Simply perfect.
Their Pizza Special of the day was just phenomenal, and definitely ranks amongst the top pizzas we’ve sampled in Melbourne. The puffy woodfired crust was made to true Neapolitan standards, and tapers to a base that’s paper thin without being sloppy or soggy. On top was a light yet creamy broccoli puree, which worked exceptionally well with the boost flap cured and tender slices of ham. The cherry on top that made this pizza a cut above were undoubtedly the generous dollops of truffle cream, providing an incredibly rich and fragrant experience that added an exceptional depth in flavour. Well balanced, bold and texturally diverse, this pizza was a sensory experience like no other.
The simple yet elegant Insalata certainly impressed. The fresh, slightly bitter leaves of rocket was beautifully balanced out by the sweetness of the pear slices, while subtle hints of gorgonzola added an interesting though unexpected tang that made the salad pop.
We rounded off our Italian feast with the Tiramisu and the Budino. Served warm, the pudding was made from cuts of panettone, which was indulgently sweetly and rich. The dense, spongy texture perfectly soaked up the slowly melting scoop of vanilla ice cream as well as the beautiful caramel sauce it was served within. Sinfully sweet and incredibly decadent, this was not a dessert for the light hearted.
The classic tiramisu in contrast was beautifully balanced in sweet and bitterness. The top layer of silky smooth and airy cream hid away layers of coffee-soaked biscuits that were soft and perfectly moist. The beautiful espresso flavour permeating throughout was perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the cocoa powder. No doubt a classic done just the way it should be.
It’s no surprise that Cantina Centrale is a successful Italian eatery that’s overwhelmingly popular amongst the locals of Mount Albert.
Offering up an experience that’s not only authentic, the warm and hospitable staff also dished up some decidedly impressive dishes that certainly ranks amongst the best Italian in Melbourne.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
There’s just no question we would be back. Their Risotto and Pizza was nothing short of phenomenal, and we urge any Italian food lovers to pay this humble eatery a visit.
Penguineats would like to thank owner Ricardo for inviting us to Cantina Centrale.