Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tutto Bene, Southbank by Bureaucrat

Head Chef Nathan Scarfo and his team at Tutto Bene certainly know their way around a plate of risotto.  I love risotto but I rarely order it at restaurants - it just seems like I'll be setting myself up for disappointment.  The utter simplicity of the dish means, ironically, that a lot can go wrong if it's not made well.  Just like Goldilocks, there can be issues: the risotto is too soupy; too mushy; or the rice is so al dente that it's biting me back.  However, the risotto is Tutto Bene is... wow! It's utter perfection.  If you enjoy risotto than you ought to make it your priority to try it out at Tutto Bene.  And if you're not a risotto lover, then I urge you to order it at Tutto Bene and be prepared to change your mind on this glorious plate of rice.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, fritto misto
Fritto misto 

But before we get to this sublime risotto, the Lawyer and I started our meal with one of their specials - fritto misto.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, fritto misto
We both love fritto misto as it reminds us of our European holidays.  This was a lovely selection of fresh seafood nibbles.  We especially loved the small anchovies, the prawns and the sardine.  All the seafood was so fresh and sweet.  The batter was delightfully light and crispy; and I loved the generous wedges of lemon that came with it.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, capesante risotto
And now we come to the risotto! With 11 types of risotto to choose from we chose Capesante - scallops, black truffle and chive.  This was heaven!  It was aromatically earthy and had a gorgeously creamy, rich mouth-feel.  The rich earthy creaminess of the rice was punctuated by fat nuggets of sweet, tender scallops.  Wonderful!  There was not a speck of rice left on the dish after we had finished it.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, lemon spaghettini
I can't say no to handmade pasta.  So when I saw the lemon spaghettini with basil pesto, pistachio and blue swimmer crab I had to order it.  This verdant dish was delicious.  The pasta was perfect and was so hot that steam was escaping from it as I lifted the strands off the plate.  The pesto was smooth as silk and I just loved the sweet crab.  Clearly, Tutto Bene prides itself with the freshest seafood (many of the seafood items on the menu proudly proclaim their local provenance).  The pistachio added a nice textural contrast and its nuttiness didn't overwhelm the rest of the dish.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, lemonade, latte
For drinks, I had a lemonade, while the Lawyer got a latte which he said was very smooth and flavourful.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, lemon, pannacotta, gelato
And what's an Italian meal with dessert?  Tutto Bene has a takeaway gelati stand that features some very delectable flavours.  We tried four flavours, and our favourites were the sharp citrusy lemon (don't you agree that it's the colour of summer?) and the incredibly silky and custardy pannacotta.

Tutto Bene, Southbank, gingerbread, peach, gelato
One of the festive flavours is gingerbread.  This packed a punch of ginger and nutmeg/cinnamon spice.  It definitely tasted like a gingerbread in gelato format.  While I thought it was a bit strong eating it on its own, I reckon it would be just divine in an affogato. The flavour of the peach was quite subtle but that could be because it was competing against the gingerbread gelato.

Tutto Bene, Southbank

Tutto Bene, Southbank
We sat on the verandah, which gave us beautiful views of the city and Yarra river (to see what it looks like, check out Foghorn Leghorn's review).  However, it's interior is also noteworthy.  Inside, it's spacious and light.  There are comfy sofas and gorgeous woodwork.

Verdict

We loved it
We loved it.
Mid value
Mid value.

Overall

Wow - I can definitely see why Tutto Bene was awarded for the sixth time the Best Italian Restaurant at the Restaurant & Catering Australia Awards for Excellence.  For the quality of the food, I'm surprised that it's quite reasonably priced.  The menu also has a range of small plates on offer (which impressed Foghorn Leghorn) and an delightful Italian-style breakfast menu (which Bilby Blue raved about).  Certainly an affordable luxury - it won't hurt the pocket to dine here.

And if the risotto has whetted your appetite, consider also signing up to Tutto Bene's sell-out hit risotto masterclass.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Tutto Bene.

Find it at

Tutto Bene
Southgate Melbourne
M28/3 Southgate Avenue
Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: (03) 9696 3334

Tutto Bene Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too never order risotto for the same reasons. Looks like I'm going to have to eat my words.

Merry Christmas
Nean

EatAndBeMerry ForTomorrowWeDiet said...

Oh you won't regret ordering it at Tutto Bene! Our only regret was that we should have ordered two serves :Dinner

Have a great festive season!

foghorn leghorn said...

Nean, Tutto Bene has been around for 20 years or so. As a devoted risotto fan, I've seen it in its worst and best phases, and right now it's in a very good phase. To paraphrase the Moody Blues: go now!

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