- Royal prank DJ quits radio
- New Royal Children's Hospital 'too small'
- Trucks explode in fiery collision
- Australian students falling behind global counterparts
- Rolling Stones add five concert dates to Australia tour
- TAC launches Safer P Platers campaign
- Upset Bieber fans want their money back
- Lollipop lady hit by car, denied compensation
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What we're talking about
- Lisa on 2013 Pancake Parlour Challenge Hugh is gorgeous!!!! more
- Jim on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... What has happened to the old hospital? Can't it still be used to treat patients more
- Dan from Wheelers Hill on Trucks explode in fiery collision I love it when all of these anti-truck nutters come out and start bagging the entire industry just because they perceive ... more
- mylene on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... In opposition Ted said it was too small but he still stood next to the Queen when she opened it. more
- Christine on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... What incompetent fools were in charge of this project? more
- Damien Tyl on Trucks explode in fiery collision Quick judgement by a pack of morons that hav no road sense whatsoever to even comment the way u hav on such a tragedy u ... more
- Garry on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... When this New Hospital was being built, I am sure I remember Neilo having a story that the new U Beaut hospital was going to ... more
- tony elsworthy on Trucks explode in fiery collision well I drove this highway for 10 yrs most of it was over night express so wot half of yous gona call me a cowboy coz I did ... more
- Craig on Rolling Stones add five concert dates ... Dont know how i am going to afford it, but i wont miss the Stones for anything. Saw them in 95, 03 & 06. They actually get ... more
- Craig on Trucks explode in fiery collision Time the state/Federal Government got off their ass and spent some money and make this a divided road...they have it...stop ... more
- Kenny Moore on Trucks explode in fiery collision All I really have to say is all the do gooders that are canning truck drivers , how about they get actual fact before ... more
- DORIS on Trucks explode in fiery collision Is is sad to hear. On all negative comments about the truck drivers remember who put the food in the supermarkets! About ... more
- wayne on Trucks explode in fiery collision roger, why didn't you slow down a little when you can plainly see that the truck is coming up to pass in the overtaking ... more
- Dave From Great Western on Trucks explode in fiery collision This latest accident occurred just a couple of Km's from my town where more than 3000 trucks pass through,each day on the ... more
- Sean on Trucks explode in fiery collision I am sick and tired of seeing a blame game on truck drivers.As soon as there is a report of an incident it is always the ... more
- Denise Butler on Trucks explode in fiery collision I travel this road without any problems with trucki. In fact when I come up behind a truck I usually stay behind the, ... more
- Lukey J on Trucks explode in fiery collision Roger, I myself drive trucks for a living. I'm all for everyone to have the right to one's opinion. But there are some bad ... more
- Michael Real on Trucks explode in fiery collision I agree with Roger's comments. Out on the Princes Freeway east of Melb you are tailgated, intimidated and overtaken by ... more
- Jed Maxwell on Trucks explode in fiery collision I travelled that area of Victoria for a few weeks last month. Many of the truck drivers apper to be complete nutters, ... more
- Tristan on Trucks explode in fiery collision Roger with all due respect a I'm speaking for most truck drivers not all because there are some bad ones . Most car speedos ... more
Ela heads to Orto Kitchen and Garden
Orto Kitchen and Garden – 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn www.orto.com.au
If the address sounds familiar, that’s because you may have been there before. This large modern building just shy of the Glenferrie & Burwood Road intersection has had a few different culinary identities in the last few years. First there was Canvas, the much lauded Moroccan restaurant, then Chester White - with a decidedly porcine theme. Now, they’ve started again, and with Orto Kitchen and Garden the interior is probably the warmest and cosiest it’s been. That’s no mean feat, because it’s a huge space, and previously part of the problem may have been making it feel simply like a “room” in which to dine rather than a cafeteria or cavernous space. But, the warm colours, wooden box-adorned walls, timber seating and checkered ceiling go a long way to make it feel more snug.
The fare now is Italian, and as Orto literally translates as kitchen garden, the expansive deck is filled with herbs and vegies in planters (and gumboots) amongst the outdoor furniture.
Chef Luigi Buono is Neapolitan through and through, his Melbourne pedigree boasts stints at classics like Caffe e Cuccina, and Enoteca. The menu is pure Italian, and it’s good.
Two thick round slices of grilled cotechino sausage were perfectly fatty and flavoursome, and they were served on tasty braised lentils. A lovely dish to start, perfectly shared between two and excellent value at $11.
The calamari took a while to arrive, and when it did it was quite a small serve at $20, but what was there was delectable. Thick slices dusted in semolina flour, sitting on a fennel and rocket salad with a balsamic aioli. They were cooked to perfection, nice and chunky, and wonderfully tender.
Having tried the arancini with smoked mozzarella and the zucchini flowers previously, I can assure you there are some terrific grazing options in those starters if it’s a crisp glass of wine and a snacky lunch you’re after on the sunny deck.
Mains are divided between the classics – pizza and pasta, and some larger protein based meals. Despite Buono’s Neapolitan heritage, I bypassed the pizza and went straight for the carbs – it was an impressive list of pastas. Offerings include house made gnocchi with smoked mozzarella, and a casarecci with swordfish and eggplant.
For me, though, it had to be the pork neck ragu wtih capunti pasta, and it was good as it sounds. Berkshire pork neck is left overnight in red wine with diced vegetables, garlic and thyme to marinate. Next day, the neck is seared in a hot pan, the sautéed vegies are added back in with wine and stock and it’s cooked at a low temperature for two and a half hours.
The result is a beautiful, rich, balanced sauce with succulent pulled pork, and precisely al dente pasta. It was the sort of Italian meal that makes you wish you’d grown up in a less Anglo household.
Spaghettini with crab meat & zucchini is a quicker affair to produce, but sure to be a crowd pleaser. Zucchini, garlic, chilli and white wine quickly cooked in a hot pan, stirred through with fresh picked crab meat from Shark Bay WA, pasta and a sprinkling of tasty lemon pangrattato. A simple pasta that somehow still packs an absolute punch when it comes to flavour.
From memory there were a few dishes on the dessert menu, but I had donut blindness, so I couldn’t tell you what they were. There is little as joyful as two petite, nutella filled round Italian donuts on a plate. And at $10 for the pair, you may as well order four!
There’s a real effort to make Orto more of a destination for locals, over summer they’re holding their “Deck Series”, a set of alternating classic Italian films and cooking classes on that great outdoor deck – think Cinema Paradiso, or the secret to making gnocchi.
It’s quality food, and a much more inviting interior, service was a little slow but if they get that right, hopefully Orto Kitchen and Garden will be the one that sticks around.
FOOD REVIEW: It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a meal. Hell of the North was pure heaven. Tucked away in a side street leading from busy Smith Street, Hell lives in a beautiful bluestone terrace with an unmistakably yellow door.