Thursday, February 23, 2017

Carosello, Moonee Ponds by Foghorn Leghorn

I like Moonee Ponds, but I hadn’t been for a few years, so the idea of visiting a new restaurant was just what I needed.

Carosello is next to the Moonee Ponds train station, with most of its frontage on Hall Street, a quiet side street. That turns out to be quite a bonus, because it allows for pleasant outdoor seating, where we plonked ourselves down to try the food.

Carosello, Moonee Ponds, antipasto
We started off with a mixed antipasto plate. Just as a good mixed plate should do, it had something for everyone. Cheese, ham, olives, prosciutto, preserved vegetables (capsicum and artichoke), and some frittata slices. The standout was a bocconcino sprinkled with herbs. The creamy and smooth consistency was memorable – it was the first indication that Carosello doesn’t cut corners on quality.

For mains, we chose gnocchi with mushrooms, and a Moreton Bay bug risotto. Both were excellent.

Carosello, Moonee Ponds, mushroom gnocchi
The gnocchi were fluffy and freshly made, with a beautiful mushroom aroma. If I had to criticise something, I might say that the sauce had a little too much cream. On the plus side, the kitchen certainly didn’t skimp on mushrooms, of which there was more than one variety, including porcini. For those avoiding gluten, it’s worth noting that the gnocchi were gluten-free.

Carosello, Moonee Ponds, moreton bay bug risotto
The risotto was prepared by someone who really knows what it’s about. It was both creamy and al dente, with individual grains retaining their character. The main flavour came from the Moreton Bay bug meat, and the touch of chili was an interesting twist. I would rank this risotto equal to the delights produced at Tutto Bene, which specialises in the dish.

Carosello, Moonee Ponds, macchiato
We had no room for desserts, but Mrs Leghorn had a coffee, a macchiato. The waitress knew her coffee, and confirmed that we wanted a short black macchiato. As it should, the coffee came out in a small glass, with the different layers and colours visible. (Aside: English Wikipedia has an entry for macchiato, but Italian Wikipedia doesn’t. In the Italian version, it’s a sub-heading under “Caffè espresso”).

Carosello has recently changed management, and customers have responded. We arrived early (after 6 pm) on a Thursday, when there were still some free tables. When we left after 7 pm, the place was full, both inside and outside. Owner Jordan says that busy nights, like Friday and Saturday, have people queuing along the street, and I can believe it.

Carosello, Moonee Ponds

Carosello, Moonee Ponds


We loved it
We loved it.
Mid value
Mid value.


Overall, Carosello hits that sweet spot where it’s not a cheap pizzeria, but it’s not a high end place either – it’s right in the middle. An average family can afford to eat here from time to time, and enjoy the quality of the food.

The menu is not too broad, and not too narrow. There are 14 types of pizza, 5 pasta dishes, two gnocchi dishes, and one risotto – plus antipasti and salads. Pizzas are $20-25, pasta and risotto $25-32. One thing I did miss on the menu was veal saltimbocca. The specials included a chicken saltimbocca, but I hope that chicken saltimbocca doesn’t become as widespread as chicken schnitzel and chicken parmigiana.

Service is also good: attentive but not intrusive. The staff know the menu – many of them seem to be from Italy.

This is a restaurant in the right price bracket, with better quality than most restaurants in that range. We will definitely return.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Carosello.

Find it at

22 Margaret Street
Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
Phone: (03) 9375 1160

Carosello Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...