Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Affogato, Melbourne CBD by Snooze

I was lucky enough to enjoy one of the pleasantest lunches for a long time both for company, food or location (sorry Big Fil ... I really am missing you) at Affogato in Hardware Lane.

My view of the world generally is a sort of non-comformist, anti-establishment, I want to eat where the food's good rather than where everybody think the food is good. The remnants, I guess, of my left wing "flirtation" during the 1970s. And despite selecting a cafe at one of the trendiest streets in Melbourne it turned out to be an inspired choice because the food was better than average, the service good and it had the cutest selection of tea pots including a tea cosy. (I'm sorry, but despite my left wing flirtation it takes very little to win me over!)

There were quite a few vegetarian/vegetables dishes and for me it was toss up between the home made chickpea patties on aoli toast with salad, and the pumpkin and feta pizza. I would have been happy with either of them, but even better I was actually happy with my choice. The serve was enormous for a start, the patties perfectly cooked without being dry and with a delightful hint of coriander (my absolute favourite), and the salad fresh and light. Exactly the way I like my food.

Ruby Grapefruit chose the pumpkin and feta on fresh basil with a tomato base thin crust pizza ... which I eyed enviously, and which I was lucky enough to try. While our cutlery wasn't quite up to the task of cutting through the crust, I love the crispy crust and the large chunks of pumpkin, the salt from the feta and the fresh basil were very nicely balanced. Probably one of the best pizzas I've had.

There were a few takes for the field mushrooms, but in the end this was Chewy's choice ... two huge mushrooms garnished with feta on a base of roasted vegetables. The mushrooms were solid and hearty ... a third option for the vegetarians and determined vegetable eaters amongst us.

So how strange was it that the only meal that disappointed involved meat (the beef salad) ... which was described as a lot of beef on a bland salad. Nothing much more to add.

Big Fil and I have often pondered how certain places become favourites when the food is wonderful, when you can't get a seat at a place where the food isn't as good. I can't work it out and if my "vote" counts for anything (which it doesn't with anybody but my mother and the jury's still out there) then Affogato will be next "in place" for lunch. And why not: the location is central, the food quick to be delivered, the menu extensive with plenty of vegetable based offerings, the price reasonable, the serves are on the large side, in the main the food is a winner, and the wait staff knowledgable and helpful. I'm going to try this place again because I think I've found a new favourite lunch spot.

Food - 7.5
Service - 7
Ambience - 7.5
Prices - 8

29 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9642 5593

Affogato on Urbanspoon

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