74 Bourke Street
I’m no stranger to the good food they plate up at Bottega. Naturally I was more than happy to accept when I was invited to Bottega to try the new lunch menu designed by new head chef Gabriele Olivieri, the launch of which coincides with Bottega’s ten year mark since its inception.
In addition to its lunch menu, Bottega offers an express lunch which comprises of either two courses & wine ($35) or three courses & wine ($45).
Creamy delicious butter.
Owner Denis Lucey joined us for the afternoon as we were presented with a selection of dishes from the lunch and the dinner menu.
Bruschetta, Baccala Mantecato & Vincotto
The crusty chewy bruscheta was topped with whipped salt cod, a flavoursome savory spread. Something I’ve never had, and I love dishes that surprise me and leave me wanting more.
Yellow Fin Tuna & Eggplant Rosemary Spiedino, Anchovy, Parsley & Chilli Oil
Fresh tuna lightly seared with soft eggplant, held together by a rosemary sprig.
Vitello Tonnato, Pickled Celery Hearts & Crispy Capers
The veal was on the sinewy side, and was probably my least favourite.
Char-Grilled Ox Tongue, Salsa Verde, Anchovy & Croutons
The ox tongue was sublime. I have a soft spot for ox tongue, but this was different to the thin smooth slivers I’m accustomed to seeing at Japanese or Korean places. This was beautifully generous, hearty and tender, just a gorgeous silky piece of meat that fell apart in your mouth.
Buffalo Ricotta Filled Zucchini Flowers, Tomato & Basil Coulis, Vincotto
Batter free zucchini flowers get a thumbs up from me. True to its visuals, the petals of the zucchini flower are soft, with creamy lush ricotta spilling out and the coral coulis enhances the rich ricotta and adds a lightness to this dish.
Roasted Tomato & Burrata Agnolotti, Smoked Eggplant Puree, Lemon Rocket & Balsamico
Visually the agnolotti made for dainty little pockets. As a personal preference, the pasta however was a little too thick and firm, and I would have preferred more of the creamy roasted tomato and burrata filling.
House Made Strozzapreti with Clams, Mussels, Prawns & Calamari
A pasta from their dinner menu, and one of my favourites. Fresh prawns, bites of clams and tender calamari tossed with the smooth slippery house made strozzapreti which had a lovely firm bite in a rich bisque.
Char-Grilled Western Plains Pork Belly, Apple Puree, Frisee Salad & Crackling
The ox tongue and strozzapreti rated highly, but the pork belly made me forget all that had gone before. It was soft and luscious, with layers and layers of fat, and a beautiful smoky flavour. The crackling added a little crunch but the apple puree was a little too sweet for my liking. I would have preferred it to be a little more tart to cut through the richness of the belly.
Selection of House Made Sorbetti - Mango, Pear & Blood Orange
The mango and the blood orange were really quite gorgeous and you were hit with big bold flavours. The blood orange had a beautifully sweet tang. The pear sorbet was more delicate in flavour and had a slightly grainy texture, true to its counterpart. Strewn across the plate were little bits of pistachio and sticky sweet goodness.
Selection of House Made Sorbetti - Peach, Vanilla & Chestnut & Pear
The peach was the subtlest of the lot, visually a gorgeous pale blush with an equally delicate flavour profile. The vanilla & chestnut was intriguing, a flavour that changes each time you take a bite, and a distinct nuttiness develops as you savour it slowly.
NOTE: I was extended an invitation by Bottega & AMPR, and this review is based solely on my personal thoughts of the atmosphere, the quality and aesthetics of the food & sweets treats we were presented with on the day.