Went to A Tavola for an early celebration of Miss. Julzie's Birthday and to my delight, we are conveniently located across the street from Gelato Messina. My mind starts to swirl and thinks of all the possible desserts I would get after my meal. Oh goodie!
We started off with drinks and the focaccia bread promptly followed.
Aperol Spiritz $14
Aperol, prosecco, soda, green olive, slice of orange.
I was saddened by a tiny menu card but the staff showed me a very healthy looking specials board that changes often. The specials are bit more expensive but the pastas are all made fresh in house and it is worth every extra penny.
Olive all `Ascolana $12
Golf ball sized stuffed olives and mince with a crusted coating. I'm not a great fan of olives (I've improved from hating them to accepting them ok!) but I had half a ball to taste and omg the crust was crunchy with an overflow of juicy mince and olives captured inside.
Tonno con Finocchio e Crescione $20
Seared tuna, fennel, watercress, finger lime, avruga and caperberry. A very pretty and delicate dish served great as an entree.
Swiss Brown Mushrooms, Green Peas, Mint, Ricotta Salata $16
A richer entree for the more hungry. It is not a vegetarian dish as it is cooked in chicken stock.
Faraona con Sedano Rapa $20
Guinea fowl, celeriac, witlof, baby beetroot.
Pappardelle con Ragu di Manzo $34
Hand cut pappardelle pasta, slow braised beef, red wine, tomato, bay and sage.
The ragu was slowly braised for 8 hours so it falls apart with the slightest jab with a fork and almost melts in my mouth. The pasta was freshly made in house and I have to say it was the best pappardelle I've tasted. Despite being so delicious, it was a very generous serving and I just could not eat anymore so there was half a bowl left :(
Mezzelune con Ripieno di Piselli e Ricotta $31
Half moon shaped ravioli filled with peas, ricotta, oregano, heirloom carrot, truffle pecorino.
The ravioli was a slight disappointment as it was swimming in oil and it was hard to eat once you reach the bottom though the ravioli itself was quite nice.
Cervo con Funghi e Cavolo Nero $37
Venison, pine mushroom, cavolo nero, thyme and cranberry.
Four slices of perfectly cooked venison sitting on a bed of pine mushrooms and cavolo nero. I had a small taste of it and it was not gamey as I thought it would be. Phew!
As much as I love A Tavola's chocolate crema, I just couldn't stop thinking about the cakes at Gelato Messina so we waddled across the street and awed over their cuteness.
I've always had my eyes on the mushroom cake but I just realised they have a much bigger version of it for $65. With a quick division in my head, 8 people would only need to pay $8ish compared to $9.90 for a smaller individual slice so....the big one it is!
Dr. Evil's Magic Mushroom $65 (Large)
Defrost baby, defrost!
We had to wait 20 mins outside for it to defrost as it is a gelato cake. Yes, it was a bit crazy to buy a massive cake to eat on the spot as normal people usually take away for a special occassion...but we're not normal people so there.
Let me give you a run down on what is involved with this baby.
The white dots and red cap are made from ganache followed by a layer of cream, flourless chocolate sponge, then majority of the cap is then filled with Dr. Evil gelato and peanut butter cookie bits.
Stalk is made from caramel, another layer of Dr. Evil gelato with a flourless chocolate sponge base. Oh, don't forget about the grass, it is made from crushed biscuit with popping candy.
Everyone loves mushrooms
Twitter/Instagram/Facebook frenzy on the dear mushroom
Then naturally, everyone started tweeting and soon the whole world knows.
Cut up Mushroom
After 20 minutes of defrosting, the staff brought out the plates and everyone got a huge slab of cake.
The cake is super rich and dense and made for 14-16 people which... is twice as much people we have. We were just sitting there, struggling to eat this and sipping water after every bite. Good cake though, just too much of it.
Location: 348 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 6pm – late, Friday: 12pm – 3pm
Phone: 02 9331 7871
Laboratorio and Patisserie - Gelato Messina Creative Department
Location: 243 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 10pm, Sunday: 12pm to 7pm
Phone: 02 8354 1223