- Pedestrians urged to unplug in CBD
- Piggery Cafe at Burnham Beeches
- Is this Myer's most loyal employee?
- Ross and John at the Robert Burns Hotel
- Fad to famish: Australia running out of kale
- 'Rational people' will still fly with Malaysia
- Hird's back and raring to go
- $8K and free rent for 101-year-old Ivy Laver
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What we're talking about
- Nick on Pedestrians urged to unplug in CBD First ban smoking in the CBD, then ban headphones in the CBD, soon start banning people coming into the CBD. more
- Jed Maxwell on Pedestrians urged to unplug in CBD I certainly won't be 'unplugging' my headphones in the CBD. Walking around with headphones on means I don't have to listen ... more
- Gloria on Is this Myer's most loyal employee? Good on you Sue. I worked in an Administration job but got retrenched at 71, 3 years ago and hate being a pensioner, so keep ... more
- Colin Lacivita on Is this Myer's most loyal employee? I know this lady she is 89 years old. I wish I can still be working at this age. more
- Gary on $8K and free rent for 101-year-old Ivy ... What a nice gesture but after all the Government is only buying votes. With a State election coming up they need all the ... more
- ian on Retired couple take on graffiti Great work. more
- A Falkingham on Retired couple take on graffiti Stupid old fools. more
- Peggy on $8K and free rent for 101-year-old Ivy ... Congratulations to Ms Laver.The changes in the world she has seen and been a part of is so impressive.I wonder if smoking ... more
- Ken of Euroa on Retired couple take on graffiti Please dont call then "Street Artists" They are vandals plain and simple more
- Graham on Rumour File: Is Tom Jones coming to the ... It's not unusual. more
- bushiepete on Rumour File: Is Tom Jones coming to the ... I just hope he will be as good as lionel Ritchie was. he did rock the g for all ages. more
- PJ on Generosity 'entrenching' homelessness Surely this principle applies to Benefits and Social Housing.Do people accept help as a life choice? Are we entrenching ... more
- Colin Lacivita on Generosity 'entrenching' homelessness The Salvation Army should recall what Jesus said: that people should give to the poor directly. ...go sell what you possess ... more
- Lukew on 'Inconclusive': Police investigate Sam ... Who in their right mind would complain about this? What drives people to want to make someone else's life worse? more
- Auguste Rodin on 'Inconclusive': Police investigate Sam ... If nothing is actionable in the video, the Gestapo have no right to demand its removal. Go and catch some real criminals!!! more
- Gloss on Foreign investors not to blame Bulltish!!!!!! more
- James on Foreign investors not to blame Well at least Real Estate agents and investors can finally stop boasting the wide held belief that "property doubles every 7 ... more
- Colin Lacivita on 'Inconclusive': Police investigate Sam ... I can't believe how people actually believe that Sam was driving without his hands on the steering wheel. Everyone knows ... more
- jgl Melb on 'Inconclusive': Police investigate Sam ... "Took his hands off the wheel"And we all know where he put them,or at least one of them. more
- tracy on 'Inconclusive': Police investigate Sam ... Bet a lot of the people complaining have not signed the sex offender register. Easier to whinge and whine about Sam Newman ... 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.