Having just recently undergone a renovation and menu revamp, Martini Ristorante opened their doors to us on Sunday for an indulgent afternoon filled with wine, cocktails, and most importantly, a memorable selection of dishes. As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a long table lined with an impressive array of freshly clipped lemon branches, polished wineglasses, and colourful plates. Shelves along the walls of the restaurant housed black-and-white photos close to Chef Larry’s heart. This, coupled with the communal table, bestowed an incredibly homely and welcoming atmosphere upon the restaurant.
Of all the antipasti, the prosciutto was my personal favourite. Served with fresh rocket, vincotto, and grana, the flavours and textures offered by the ingredients complemented each other perfectly; the richness of the prosciutto and cheese were counteracted by the fresh rocket and sweet vincotto. The dish’s simplicity allowed each aspect of it to shine through – a prime example of the phrase ‘less is more’.
A twist on a traditional Italian dish. These salt cod croquettes were perfectly cooked; tender fish encased in a thin layer of crisp breadcrumbs, served with rocket pesto and lemon caper aioli. Everyone at the table was fighting for seconds!
Moving onto pastas, the gnocchi ragu with slow-cooked duck was definitely a crowd favourite. Tender pieces of shredded duck combined with mushrooms, sangiovese, a rich sauce, and perfectly-cooked gnocchi made for a truly outstanding dish.
Another exceptional gnocchi dish, this time accompanied by pumpkin, pesto, and gorgonzola cheese – creamy and fulfilling until the very last bite. The freshness of the house-made gnocchi is evident in its velvety texture, harmonising perfectly with the rich pumpkin flavour.
Our final pasta dish of the afternoon proved to be just as delectable as the other two, leaving everyone wanting more. Al dente penne combined with sugo, chilli, grana padana, and an array of herbs – is there anything more perfect? This dish provided an amazing balance between creaminess and tanginess. Needless to say, I’m already dreaming of my next visit to Martini’s.
Once again, everything on the plate was cooked to perfection. Grilled chicken and slow-roasted pumpkin were the stars of the dish, accompanied by baked ricotta and juicy cherry tomatoes to enhance its flavour profile.
To round off the mains, we dined on a decadent grilled flank steak topped with rocket, parmesan, and aged balsamic di Modena. This was a truly moreish dish which allowed the natural flavour of the steak to shine through, accompanied by a refreshing salad to cleanse the palate between bites.
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, and these Italian banana donuts were the perfect dish to conclude with. In fact, they were gone almost as quickly as they were served! The golden crust and spongy interior combined with gooey Dutch chocolate filling, banana anglaise, and crunchy banana chips provided a lavish way for us to end our exploration of Martini Ristorante’s new menu.
The quality of food never faltered, despite an almost uninterrupted flow of dishes from kitchen to table. The skill and efficiency of the chefs at Martini Ristorante were on full display throughout the afternoon, and I think I speak for all of the guests when I say that it was a thoroughly impressive degustation.
If you would like to sample a few of these tasty new dishes, then just head down to The Parade in Norwood. Trust me when I say that you’re in for a treat!
Words by Xueying Sun
WHERE: 59A The Parade, Norwood