Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dieci e Mezzo

Address: Corner Bunda and Mort Sts, Canberra City ACT 2601 (Inside ACTEW AGL Building)
Tel: 02) 62483142


Monday to Friday from 7.30am

Monday to Friday from 11.00am

Monday - Saturday from 6.00pm

I first heard of Dieci e Mezzo from an out-of-towner (namely my sister who I instructed to research Canberra restaurants she'd like to try so I can take her there for a birthday dinner) - obviously many big city folk with foodie in their blood have rated this restaurant as a preferred destination. As a truffle affectionado [my sister], Dieci e Mezzo seem to have a commitment to truffle as a cuisine in itself and its place in fine dining.

Below: Special of the day - a 3-mushroom/truffle risotto with freshly shaved black truffle. No joke - they brought out the whole truffle with a slice grater and did it right before our eyes (I suppose with a $20 surcharge for the freshly shaved truffle you'd want to make sure it was the real deal). Sister was impressed with this dish - the risotto had a lightly creamy flavour but the shaved truffle folded through the warm risotto gave it uniquely luxurious texture.

Above: Osso Bucco Milanese; slow braised veal shin, saffron risotto, gremolata - wow this was so fantastic. As you know Ossu Bucco is a very cheap cut of meat and requires cooking with tender-loving-care to bring out the flavour (derived from the bone marrow) and tenderness in the meat. What a perfect rendition - fall-off-the-bone meat, a fantastic jus/reduction which was light but rich in flavour and the saffron risotto - OH THE SAFFRON RISOTTO! It was creamy like a risotto was born to be, complexly cheesy and cooked just al dente. Would definitely come back for this dish!

Below: Apple & Raspberry Crumble w/ Raspberry Icecream - I think in my head I had very different expectations to what I thought this dish would look like - I was reminiscing about my berry dessert in Adelaide and thought this might be similar (the crumble being more pie-like). The apple and raspberry was way too sour - with some chunks of heated crumble sitting on top. Am disappointed the crumble wasn't broken down finer and the scoop of icecream looked suspiciously like the Peters Icecream ad I walked past in the shopping centre...

Above: This Dark Chocolate Fondant was much more unique and glamourous than my dessert. Made with Amedei Toscano dark chocolate (I think this is meant to be some fancy brand) and served with marmalade icecream it was certainly out of the blue. Having tried to cook fondant, its either hit-or-miss so this was a delightfully sized well-cooked portion with a rich dark choc flavour which was offset by the strong citrus notes in the marmalade icecream which looked like an in-house affair.

Great, hearty winter food - reasonably priced fine dining experience in Canberra with the Italian dishes done well. Especially love the emphasis on local produce and supporting their suppliers.