Carmelo’s Cucina

On Friday Adelaide Food Central attended the newly opened Carmelo’s Cucina located on Greenhill Road in Toorak Gardens. I have driven past this establishment a few times now and have been eager to try their menu. I enjoyed the lightly lit café space with modern décor including the large coffee machine that can be seen on entry. You can’t have Italian food without caffe latte afterwards.

We tired some dishes on their authentic menu including:

CROQUETTES
This delicious crunchy potato treat was filled with short rib, smoked potatoes and parmesan. The croquette was cooked perfectly, and paired well with the sweet sundried tomato aioli. A great entrée to start with as it nurtured out tummies before the mains.

CALAMARI FRITTI
We love fried squid so when we saw this on the menu we couldn’t say no. It was cooked well, quite soft but with a lovely batter. The calamari was served with a light but vibrant shaved fennel, radicchio and blood orange salad. This was the perfect side to go with this type of dish.

RAVIOLI
Their ravioli was hand made with prawns and coated in a crustacean rose sauce and watercress emulsion. This was my favourite dish of the evening, as you could tell it had been made with enthusiasm. I loved the taste of the subtle prawn which was not too overpowering on the delicate ravioli wrapping.

PAPADELLE RAGU
We don’t go to any Italian restaurant without trying their version of ragu. This slow cooked short rib beef was stewed in a red wine and tomato sugo, with parpadelle. The meat was super juicy and went well with this type of thick pasta. I loved the addition of fresh basil and shaved parmesan which is a must with this type of Italian dish.

STEAK TAGLIATA
This steak dish used a beautiful cut of 300gm porterhouse, cooked to medium rare, it melted in your mouth. It was served with arugula, shaved parmesan, watermelon, radish and a lemon and garlic rosemary vinaigrette. A beautiful dish and I highly recommend this to anyone not wanting to eat pizza or pasta.

PRAWNS
This was my favourite pizza for the night solely because I love seafood, especially prawns. The prawns were super plump and accompanied by chunks of chilli, fior di latte, fresh arugula, gremolata and dill. I enjoyed how hot the chilli was at it was very authentically Italian.

SALAMI
We love a salami pizza, and even better when it is done well. This pizza was topped with sliced salami, tomato sugo, fior di latte, olives, Spanish onion and fresh basil. The base was napolitana style, very traditional and kept our stomachs happy.

Thank you to the team at Carmelo’s Cucina for your hospitality, we had great fun at your restaurant and wish you all the best with the rest of your endeavours.

Words by Tomika Salerno

WHERE: 375 Greenhill Rd, Toorak Gardens

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