Saturday, 8 March 2014

Cecconi's Flinders Lane, Melbourne - 4 March 2014

I am back in Melbourne for business, which means that I can reward myself with a nice meal after a hard day's of work. My colleagues and I decided to dine at Cecconi's, one of the team's longtime favourite restaurants in Melbourne. Cecconi's, which has been awarded a chef hat since opening in 2006, is one of the many quality restaurants in vibrant scene of Flinders Lane. At Cecconi's, you know you will get consistently good Italian cooking, using high quality ingredients. This is what you would come to expect from a restaurant run by the Bortolotto family, who have been gracing the Melbourne dining scene for over 40 years.             

Caramelised scallops, pomegranate, fregola, pine nut, fresh herb salad ($27)
Our entire table ordered the scallops, proving that scallops are always a crowd favourite. In blinding speed, our entree arrived at our table, making us wonder whether they had even cooked the food! As soon as I got stuck into this dish, I realised I had nothing to worry about as it was clear that there was some pretty good cooking on display. These scallops were plump, well seasoned and beautifully caramelised. The acidity of the pomegranate went well with the scallops and added a freshness to the entree.         

Risotto, parmiagiano reggiano, black truffle ($36)
When our waiter introduced the specials for the day, as soon as he mentioned truffle, I was sold. The earthiness and pungency of truffle with the richness, creaminess and umaminess of parmiagiano regiano and risotto is always a winner in my eyes. The truffle in this particular dish was black truffle from Spain. The truffle aroma and flavour was turned up several notches with drops of truffle oil. I did think the rice was a bit soft for my liking, as I like my risottos al dente. This did not bother me too much as the flavours were spot on.     

Warm soft centered chocolate pudding, toasted milk ice cream ($17)
For dessert, it's always chocolate fondant / pudding if i see it on an Italian menu. There are very few desserts that are as satisfying as a chocolate pudding, with warm chocolate oozing out when you cut into it, with a creamy toasted milk ice cream on the side. The only issue was that the portion was quite large and as it was quite a rich dessert, it was a bit of a struggle to finish it. But with chocolate this decadent, who can say no?       

Highlight: Truffle, my all-time favourite ingredient at fine dining restaurants!
Lowlight: Parmiagiano risotto followed by chocolate pudding is quite a rich combination that does not help my waistline. 
Overall: Cecconi's is one of the better Italian restaurants in Mebourne. The food is comforting and well executed. The staff are friendly and attentive. The restaurant has recently been refurbished; the dining room is both comfortable and elegant. 7.5 (Great)

Cecconi's Flinders Lane
Address: 61 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact No: (03) 8663 0500

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