Monday, 17 June 2013


I'd actually never heard of Pendolino before I won a $200 voucher to this lovely one-hatted restaurant. After hearing some good reviews from friends who had been, I was quite excited to go and try it. So for our anniversary, my boyfriend and I got a table with no problems for a Monday night.

The front of Pendolino- credit to the Australian for the photo

Despite the lack of view, Pendolino has a very cosy sort of feel to it. Immediately you're engulfed in an aroma of olive-oil, which gets your salivary glands working. The restaurant was dimly lit, which was perfect as it always makes the dining experience feel more private. It made me picture a lady having a secret rendezvous with her lover in her candle-lit boudoir. And maybe because it was a Monday night, but the chatter of other patrons was only a soft buzz. No noisy children running around. No other couples going over board with PDA. Just civilised individuals enjoying their meal.

But enough about the magnificent atmosphere.

Upon being seated, we were attended to immediately. We ordered and shortly after we were given a complimentary basket of bread. The waiter explained what each bread was and explained the olive oils.

Complimentary walnut sourdough, olive ciabatta, and white sourdough, with olive oils. 

Now, normally I don't touch the bread basket because we all know the bread basket can get you full before you even start your meal. But after the waiter's bread-repertoire, I couldn't help myself- and it was well worth it.

Even though the entire menu sounded absolutely scrumptious, I only felt like two things that night, fish and beef. Being students, with poor student incomes, fine-dining restaurants are usually saved for special occasions for us. So we decided to order different things so we could taste as much as possible.

He ordered the
  • Carpaccio Di Manzo All'Albese- Alba style Free-Range Raw Beef Carpaccio with Truffled White Walnut Puree, Testun di Baralo Cheese, Rocket Cress, Wild Baby Olives and Handmade Rosemary Grissini
Carpaccio Di Manzo All'Albese- $26.50

Whilst I chose the
  • Tonno Tonnato- a raw salad of yellow fin tuna with Tonnato dressing, rocket cress, baby chard and sicilian capers.
Tonno Tonnato- $24.90

I have to say, my choice definitely tasted better. The flavours were rich without being overbearing. Though the raw beef sounded appealing at first, the flavours of the oils were too much for me. It left me feeling kind of full and sick. The boyfriend also agreed that the tuna was absolutely beautiful, whilst his beef... well not so much.

For the mains, I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the beef so I had the
  • Brasato Di Manzo Alle Amarene- Ten Hour Cooked, Pasture Fed Beef Oyster Blade, Parsnip Puree, Grilled Green Shallot, Pearl Garlic, Amarena Sour Cherry Sauce.
Brasato Di Manzo Alle Amarene- $42.90

And since my boyfriend loves his lamb, he had the
  • Agnello Al Forno Con Salsa Al Dragoncello- Slow Cooked Gippsland Lamb, Grilled White Polenta, Tuscan Black Cabbage, Baby Carrots, Dragoncello Salsa and Lamb Sauce.
Agnello Al Forno Con Salsa Al Dragoncello- $43.60
Once again, I liked my dish so much better. I felt like the lamb just had too many things going on. It was like a party in my mouth but the crowd didn't quite mix. I was not a fan of the Tuscan Black Cabbage as it was too salty, and just made the whole dish too acidic for my liking. The grilled white polenta was an absolute delight, though, and went beautifully with the lamb. 

My beef, however, was tender, moist, and perfectly pink- and slow-cooked it was! It felt like professional ballroom dancers were waltzing in my mouth. 

By then we were both immensely satiated but we wanted to use the whole $200 voucher and the dessert menu sounded scrumptious. Normally I would've chosen something extremely rich and creamy like the Nougat, Ligurian Honey and Almond Milk Semifreddo with Candied Almond and Crostoli. But since dinner was rich enough, I chose the Granita Di Melograno E Anguria instead- Pomegranate and Water Melon Granita with Rose and Basil Gelato, Rose Water Jelly, NV La Farra Prosecco Extra Dry DOCG

Granita Di Melograno E Anguria- $17.90
It was so nice and refreshing- just what I needed after such a hearty meal. The granita mainly tastes of watermelon. The basil and rose gelato is something you must try. Basil in ice cream? That is unheard of! But you will not be disappointed. It's weird- but in a good way. Plus, I had a little bit of fun pouring the bubbly in and watching it fizz. Personally, I felt the dish tasted better without the champagne, but maybe that's because I don't really like the taste of champagne.

My boyfriend had the Meringata Di Fragoline E Rabarbaro- Classic Meringue Cake with Braised Rhubarb and Wild Strawberries, Lambrusco Jelly and Wild Strawberry Sorbet. 

Meringata Di Fragoline E Rabarbaro- $17.90

The Strawberry Sorbet was nothing special, but when eaten altogether, the dish just works. The Meringue was absolutely beautiful. Not overly sweet and with just enough crisp to it. 

All throughout the meal the staff were very attentive, though at times overly attentive. However, they're knowledgeable and very helpful. What makes all the difference to me, though, is that the dishes all had 10/10 presentation.

And although I didn't try the pastas, the rest of the menu isn't very Italian. If you're looking for authentic Italian cuisine, you won't find it here. But it is a very pleasurable fine-dining experience.

I won't be back there any time soon, though purely based on the price range of the dishes. Even if you had tons of disposable income, Pendolino's isn't the sort of place you would go regularly. It's the sort of place you take someone for their birthday, or a client out for a business dinner, or if your'e really trying to impress someone.

But if you're like me, on a student budget, I'd recommend Pendolino's as a try once kind of place. 

Price Ranges to prepare your pocket:

Entree: Average at about $25.
Mains: Average at about $40.
Desserts: Average at about $20.

Pendolino on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer,

    Your first posts just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:

    I encourage you to claim your blog, which allows you to add a picture and change some settings. The blog photo shows up next to your posts wherever they appear on Urbanspoon. Here's how to claim:

    - Make sure you're logged into Urbanspoon

    - Go to your blog page on our site:

    - Click "Claim your blog" in the left sidebar

    After you submit it, we may contact you to verify your claim. Check your spam email folder if your claim hasn't gone through in a day or two. You'll also find some interesting badges and widgets on your Urbanspoon blog page - look in the right sidebar.

    If you have any questions, please contact me via email.