It seems like Neil Perry can do no wrong. With multiple restaurants under his helm, creating an exclusive menu for first and business class passengers on Qantas, writing numerous cookbooks and appearing on several media outlets - all while maintaining the popularity and success of his restaurants, Neil Perry is a busy, busy man. Rosetta is his Italian outpost in Melbourne's Crown Casino and despite the mixed reviews and high prices, I was very curious to check it out. I remember coming across a blog post by Tania, 'Neil Perry wants to be my nonna...' and it made me L.O.L. Now, if only Neil Perry could be those things!
Rosetta is exudes old world opulence and luxury transporting you back in time with a glamour wall dedicated to the greats in Italy's history. With luxurious tufted booth seating, extravagant chandeliers, marble floors and tabletops, finished with wispy ruched curtains bordering the floor to ceiling windows, you certainly feel like you're in a beautiful seaside restaurant in Italy. As you can see, Rosetta is all about the luxe Italian experience.
Seeing that it was a crazy hot day, I cooled down with a G&T while she opted for a glass of Rosé which wasn't overly sweet.
The focaccia was constantly being topped up on our plates whenever we finished it, and it was really great with the fruity olive oil which was sourced from Italy. The grissinis were very crunchy which I liked over the focaccia.
We both love mushrooms so we decided to share an entrée of grilled mushrooms and pecorino cheese. The array of mushrooms were heady with the aroma of garlic and olive oil and deliciously earthy with the sharp, salty pecorino.
Our waiter explained that all the pastas are all made in-house and cooked to al dente. The prices on the menu reflect entrée sized pastas although main sizes can be ordered. We were recommended the following pasta dish, after we umming and ahhing over the large menu, we finally gave up and took our waiter's recommendation. The flavours were light yet flavoursome, the prawns were juicy and tender while the pistachios added a buttery, nutty flavour.
The chef kindly sliced up the suckling pig in half so it was easier to share between the two of us. The skin was incredibly crispy that we could hear it crunching in each others' mouth! The mustard fruits are candied fruits in a mustard flavoured syrup which sounded strange but complemented the salty and sticky suckling pig as they were like a sweet, wasabi hit. It probably would have been easier if these were sliced up into smaller pieces though as we were struggling to cut through the crisp crackling.
The potatoes were firm inside, crisp outside and seasoned well. They were a great and filling side for the Porchetta however we struggled to finish it all.
The panna cotta with the raspberries was a nice balance between tart and sweet and went so well together. It was a fantastic combination especially seeing as I'm only just starting to appreciate raspberries. The panna cotta had speckles of vanilla bean and was so deliciously wobbly, it is apparent they used minimal gelatin for it to set. I can't wait to try recreate this at home!
We ordered two flavours from the assorted gelati and sorbetti menu - the lemon sorbet was intensely sour with the flavour being similar to a sour lemonade syrup so I wasn't able to have much of it; the chocolate gelato had a rich and dark flavour so I enjoyed this creamy concoction a lot. The flavour of the flower shaped cinnamon wafer reminded me of a cinnamon donut and was incredibly cute with Rosetta written on it.
I really enjoyed the food at Rosetta and I felt like I was transported to Italy in that one night. The service was impeccable and our waiter helped us with some recommendations when we were stuck on all the options, although service got slower towards the end of the night when the restaurant became busier. I would love to come back again to try out the rest of the menu, although since the prices are on the pricier side, my visits will be saved for special occasions.
I hope you all have a great NYE and enjoy the celebrations. Planning on making any new year resolutions? I've made two for 2013 - let's hope I can keep to them, fingers crossed! Stay safe ya'll xx
Will I return? Yes, loved the food and the luxe ambience.
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 8648 1999
Tues to Sun midday - 3pm
Mon to Sun 6pm - 11pm