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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Delizia Cucina

To kick off the Australia Day weekend, Alastair and I had dinner at Delizia Cucina in Seddon.

While the food was good, there were a few things that marred my enjoyment. Let me get the complaints out of the way first. Being a small restaurant, the tables are packed very closely. How close were the tables? Well, whenever the skinny waiter bent over slightly to pour water or wine for the table next to us, his butt would bump our glasses. My other main annoyance was the noise. The restaurant is quite smartly decked out and we particularly admired the usage of the bottoms of plastic milk crates that lined the walls. But all the hard surfaces – hard floors, hard concrete-finish tables, hard wooden chairs, hard walls, everything hard hard hard, all reflected sound. With the restaurant full, the noise levels were very high. I'm being a bit of a granny complaining about the noise, but it was so loud that conversation over the table was difficult.

But on to the food. Once seated, a waiter uncorked the small bottle of olive oil sitting on the table, and poured some into a dish for us. Also on the table was a small dish of Murray River salt flakes, (with a spoon – hooray for places that care about hygiene). A basket of bread rolls was bought to the table, and it was hard not to fill up on bread. The olive oil was delicious and when sprinkled with a bit of salt – yum!

Delizia Cucina

We skipped starters and went straight into the mains. I only took photos and notes of what I ate as it was very dark inside (another annoyance of mine…) plus the menu descriptions were rather long.

Delizia Cucina
The quail, looking rather blurry.

My main was a partially boned quail filled with burghal, pistachios, pinenuts and currants, roasted and served with a quail and dual liver bisteeya and a carmelised pumpkin, grape and herb salad ($29). This was a dish that really emphasised the contrast of sweet and savoury. The quail was cooked nicely, and the stuffing was rather sweet. I would have liked the quail to have been slightly saltier (perhaps I should've used some of that salt on the table – duur). The flakey and sweet bisteeya was filled with a soft, creamy liver mixture. My favourite thing on the plate though, was the pumpkin and grape salad. It was brilliant, a bit sweet, a bit salty, a bit tangy. I loved it.

We also shared two sides – one was roast beetroot and other vegetables with pomegranate molasses (if I remember the menu correctly). The vegetables were cooked well, and the molasses gave them a sweet and sour edge. The other side was green beans with sumac (again, if I recall correctly). Oh, the green beans. I LOVED the beans! They were perfect – still slightly crunchy, and buttery with a slight lemon tang. I ate quite a lot of the beans and I could've finished the rest if I didn't have dessert in mind. The sides were around $7 and they were both generous serves.

Delizia Cucina

My dessert was the rich chocolate fondant cake topped with a white chocolate and pistachio mousse and served with cherries poached in a spiced red wine syrup ($12). It was lovely – rich and dark, with the cherries providing a bit of boozy tartness. The mousse helped provide a bit of lightness to the dark chocolate cake.

Delizia Cucina

Given the quality of the food, prices were reasonable. On a quieter night, perhaps sitting at one of the high-backed leather banquettes lining the wall, I would have loved eating at Delizia. I think it would be worth another look, perhaps on a weeknight.

Delizia Cucina
160 Victoria Street, Seddon
Phone: (03) 9687 9397

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