Thursday, May 24, 2012

Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana

In all honesty, I rarely have a craving for Italian cuisine, but when the mood does strike, only really fresh food packed full of flavour will do. Thankfully, the family run Maccoroni Trattoria Italiana fits the bill and justifies its very high rating on Urbanspoon. It accommodates for both dine-in and take-away customers as a concession to their hole-in-the-wall location, conveniently in Manchester Lane, so you can't really go wrong.

After a few failed attempts, I finally caught up with a couple of friends for a Friday night dinner here. It was busy, but a walk in reservation a few hours earlier meant that there was a table waiting for us at 830. I'd been here a couple of times, and was impressed by the food every time, and one of my friends had ended up dining here the night before. It's a testament to the quality of the food that he was more than eager to return so soon after his last visit.

I ordered my favourite dish on the menu; Ossobuco. A plateful of tender veal with creamy rice, the smell wafted upwards enticingly and I couldn't wait to dig in.


The veal was perhaps slightly on the salty side on this occasion, but the dish was amazingly good non-the-less. The large portion size and filling nature of the dish, meant that I took part of this away to feast upon at a later date. Even though it's no-where near as good cold as it is hot, it's still a very satisfying meal.

My returning friend ordered Pesto & Mascarpone Ravioli: filled with spinach and ricotta with presto, mascarpone cheese, cream, almond flakes and Parmesan.

Pesto and Mascarpone Ravioli

The pasta was very fresh, and the sauce was smooth and creamy, with the mascarpone lending a lighter touch to the dish compared to more common cheeses. I thought the pasta to be a little too tough for my liking, but I as I've mentioned previously, I'm not a fan of pasta in general. He later ordered a take-away Lasagna so I'm guessing he loves this place!

My other friend decided to order the steamed seafood and vegetables.

Steamed Seafood and Vegetables
Talk about healthy, this looked amazing, if a little perplexing in the plastic bag. The seafood was fresh, and the vegetables were soft and tender.

All-in-all, we enjoyed our respective mains immensely. I'd probably order a side of salad next time to go with the heaviness of the mains (especially in my case). We settled with dessert instead to clear our palates.

Strawberry and Pistachio Yogurt Cheesecake
I can't say this dessert was particularly impressive, but it was delightfully light with yogurt used instead of cream cheese. The cheesecake had the slightest touch of sweetness and I could have done without the gelatin holding the fruit beautifully in place, but otherwise it was a decent dessert. I think I might try one of their denser cakes next time though (the array of cakes and tarts in the front cabinets is very tempting) provided I order a lighter main. I still love my Ossobuco so it would have to be a very good cake for me to give up the veal.

The food is spectacular, servings a generous, and service is fast and friendly. I recommend that you make a booking if you want to guarantee a table as this place is tiny, but with expansions next door coming along nicely, this may be less of an issue in the future. If this place gets any more popular though, they may have to expand down the length of Manchester Lane.

Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana
10 Manchester Lane, Melbourne

Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm

 Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana on Urbanspoon