Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Va Tutto | Ivanhoe

Silver Christmas deco at our table :)
We've been going to Va Tutto since they opened back in 2005 and are really
surprised the Urbanspoon rating isn't significantly higher. We've dined at various times for lunch and dinner, as well spent the last two Christmas's there...and have only great experiences to report on!


My Gingerbread man!
This leads to the purpose of today's blog: Christmas lunch 2012! To have someone else do all the hard work for you on a public holiday, we all thought $140 per head for such a delicious meal and lovely surrounding was well worth it! Our lunch included entrees, mains, and dessert - all of your own choice from their large holiday menu. (Drinks aren't included in the set price)



Herb Pizza
We were greeted with warm & friendly smiles all around, and seated at an adorably packed, silver themed table in the main restaurant. Little gingerbread men stood at each wine glass, silver Christmas crackers on our side plates, and little stars sprinkled around the middle of the table. Ahh, this is Christmas!

The complimentary herb pizza was most welcome when it arrived at the table shortly after we sat down, we munched away while sipping on our glasses of Wild River Chardonnay ($32/bottle).

Oysters
Gyoza
Shawn started off with a serve of their famous hand-made gyoza. Stuffed with prawns & scallops, these little fried morsels were accompanied with wasabi soy dressing, chilli vinegar, and cucumber & green papaya salad. By far, this entree is one of Shawn's absolute favourites!

Shawn's father ordered the 1/2 dozen freshly shucked oysters (served natural) and couldn't stop raving about how beautiful they were! All wonderfully fresh, tasty, and eaten very quickly!


Zucchini Flowers
Both myself and Shawn's mother ordered the crispy fried zucchini flowers filled with goats cheese & pesto. What can we say - so much goodness in such a small package! The biggest challenge of this dish, is to include all those little touches on the plate in with each mouthful of the cheese & pesto. The beetroot puree and fresh pomegranate salad worked beautifully with the cheese & pesto, combining salt and sweet, as well as creaminess and crunch. Happy days!


Punjabi Indian Curry
By now the restaurant had their second sitting in full force, and the place was packed with happy patrons. The wait staff were a little under pressure, but managed it all smoothly. This was also the time we ordered a second bottle of chardonnay!

All our mains were well presented, and with the exception of Shawn's, on very large plates. It's amazing how much can be crammed on a single table!

It all worked though, and Shawn's main meal was the most nontraditional of all: Punjabi Indian chicken curry with basmati rice and naan bread. If you follow our blog at all, you'll realize we're huge fans of Indian, and are even accomplished in cooks in the cuisine. Our high regard for Va Tutto's flavours, and our love of Indian is what made Shawn pick this dish. The curry was softly infused with Punjabi spices, meaning it was just exotic enough to satisfy curry fans, but not too bold or spicy to scare off the locals. The rice was soft and naan crunchy. Very pleased!
Lamb Shank

Shawn's father had the slow braised lamb shank, but for the life of me I can't remember what accompanied it. Have a look and let me know if you know what it's sitting on! ha! Regardless, as I was speaking with Shawn's father, he touched his fork to the shank, and the meat simply fell off. Literally, it just fell off and his eyes widened with the excitement of what delicate deliciousness awaited him! It goes without saying, the dish was completely enjoyed!


Wild Barramundi
Technically, I'm a pescatarian, although I eat fish but rarely. I personally consider myself a vegetarian because my pescatarian tendencies only really appear if I'm having a celebratory dinner. Anyway, on Christmas day I find myself looking at the fish dishes...partly because I've been told (by both Shawn and his mother) that the steamed fillet of wild Barramundi is a hands-down winner of a dish.  And after seeing them both eat it with immense pleasure last year, I decided to order it today. The lovely piece of fish sat delicately atop Asian greens in a shallow pond of soy, ginger, chilli and coriander - I understand why they loved it so much. The Barramundi skin was crispy, yet the fish itself was moist and flaked lovingly into the tangy soy-styled sauce it sat in. The greens were lightly cooked and crunchy (as they should be!) - a winner in my book!


Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli
Shawn's mother ended up ordering a dish I've eaten once before at Va Tutto: the pumpkin and ricotta ravioli. Big pieces of ravioli are complimented with parmesan, butter, pinenuts, and currants. It's a beautifully executed dish, with those little nuts offsetting the softness of the pasta, and with all flavours working in harmony. Shawn's mother enjoyed it completely, and even had the kindness to share a few pieces (as it was a large portion!) around the table :)


Mascarpone cheesecake
Is there room for desserts? Of course there is! Both Shawn and his mother ordered the mascarpone cheesecake with pear, butterscotch sauce and walnut ice cream. I've had this one before and can vouch for it's absolute goodness - you feel really naughty eating this cheesecake! And may I note that neither of them offered to share ;P

Ice Cream Sandwich
I had the white chocolate and espresso ice cream sandwich, which were perfectly sized for the massive flavours they contained! And in good form, I ate all three pieces in near a blink of an eye!


Sticky Date Pudding
Shawn's father had the warm sticky date and pear pudding, with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. It must have been good. Because he didn't speak much once it arrived, and by the time I scoffed down my dessert, I looked over and his was gone. Not sure who won that race, but regardless, the empty plate sang praises for his dish!

Overall, a wonderful day & great meal! As I said at the start of this review, Va Tutto have always provided us with amazing dining experiences - both in the quality of food and service. If you haven't been, take our word for it, and go!


Va Tutto on Urbanspoon

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