Daz and I often perve on people…..of both sexes, I know its a little weird and slightly strange, but I'm not like most girls. I love checking out shoes and dresses and I often try to get Daz involved, but he’s just not that into females shoes. I must admit though, I'm the one who actively points candidates out to him. While we were dining at Sarti on a particular warm evening we spotted an attractive lady who had a stunning black dress on. As I was admiring her dress another woman walked in with the exact same black dress on. We all stared and were eager to find out what would happen when they both discovered they weren't the most original pair in the room. About a minute later our curiosity was satisfied when the original lady returned to her seat and noticed the other lady sitting at the next table. A few nervous laughs later and it was all sorted. It was such a fascinating incident, we all know how competitive women can get, especially when out on the town wearing your favourite little black dress. I don’t know what we were expecting, maybe some mid meal entertainment, nothing like a scrag fight!
Enough about the scenery, onto the food. We decided to share some of the stuzzichini to start. If you don’t already know stuzzichini are small share plates similar to tapas. So we had Tartare of wagyu beef, porcini acid, smoked tomato, pine nut oil. Big pieces of fleshy juicy wagyu, crunchy pieces of pine nut all topped with very smoky tiny tomatoes. The oil was quite smoky giving the meat a distinct bbq taste. I really enjoyed this dish, although I couldn’t help but want some nice pickled gherkins.
Next we had Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and herbs, the zucchini was tender but still crunchy. The outer batter was really crispy and the filling was fluffy and pundgent from the mixed herbs and spices added to the mix.
There was no way that we weren’t going to order the ‘Neo Nati fritti’, soft shell crab, ‘peperoni’ and ‘n’ duja crumble’. If you didn’t already know, Daz is a soft shell crab enthusiast, in that he will chose that over any other dish available. So we were really pleased when it arrived and lived up to its name. Thick pieces of juicy crab, with a spicy pepper "stir fry" underneath. Once again the outer shell was slightly crunchy with the soft flesh inside still very juicy. The crab was extremely fresh which was a nice little bonus.
The stuzzichini were really good, sadly the rest of the meal was a little bit downhill. I’ll just warn you now.
I ordered the Spinach ‘tortelli’, filled with rabbit, jerusalem artichoke puree, roasted hazelnuts, and rabbit broth. The pasta was a little undercooked, it wasn’t al dente it was “al raw-o”. It was even more evident considering the rabbit filling was very delicate and moist. The puree was fantastic along with the addition of hazelnut and rabbit broth. I really enjoyed it, however the undercooked pasta was a bit of a let down for me.
Miss Coco LV ordered the pasta of the day, Pasta with duck ragout. It was good to see big pieces of duck scattered throughout the pasta, but once again the same issue as above, the pasta was slightly undercooked, so that totally ruined it for me.
Daz being the big red blooded man that he is ordered the Chargrilled 1824 ribeye ‘con la vera caponata siciliana’. The opposite to above happened here. Daz asked for a medium rare steak an instead he got a medium almost medium/well steak. It was such a shame considering it would have been a beautiful piece of meat. The other draw back was that the caponata was really oily, not just a little bit, there was a puddle of oil left over on Daz's plate after he finished. The other weird thing was that the steak was served on such a small narrow plate, making it almost impossible for Daz to eat. At one point the steak almost ended up in his lap.
After the main meals we were really disappointed, not to mention the service was lacking. The were very few of the wait staff that actually smiled, and none of the dishes were explained to us. So as soon as the dish arrived it was plonkt on the table and then not a word was said. I’m one for detail, especially with food, so found it really impersonal. Hopefully the desserts would pick up our mood.
Daz ordered the Lemon tart. Poor Daz, he has such a bad record when desserts are concerned. He was expecting a nice slice of lemon tart, or an small individual lemon tart, instead he got three tiny cubes of lemon tart with a lovely display of fruit and crumble and cream. It was a little strange considering the rest of the meal was served in a very traditional sense, but his dessert had a very modern appearance. The tart was pretty good though, nice and tangy with a crispy caramelized top. However Daz’s disappointment was not overcome by flavour, I guess great expectations are easily shattered
I had the Pistachio ‘panna cotta’, caramel salted popcorn. Fail!!!! The pistachio panna cotta didnt taste like pistachio, it was a little stodgy and the caramel salted popcorn was neither caramel nor salted....but it did have popcorn in it though. I'm not exactly sure what happened here, but the whole thing was a massive failure.
Miss Coco LV had the Chocolate semi freddo, traces of pumpkin. Thankfully this saved the day as far as desserts are concerned. The ice cream was really chocolaty and the semi freddo itself was really nice. I didn’t get a chance to try the pumpkin puree though. Nice idea though, matching pumpkin and chocolate together. There were no complaints coming from Miss Coco LV and she managed to finish the whole thing.
From my perspective Sarti was a pretty big let down. The surroundings are modern and really well done, but the service and some of the food weren’t quite up to scratch. I do recommend to go for the stuzzichini, maybe order a couple of cocktails and sit in their court yard and enjoy a few share plates with a bunch of friends, and then go somewhere else for dinner.
*It looks like Sarti is no longer in the top 100 restaurants of Australia. They were ranked 84 when the guide was released earlier this year, but the Gourmet Traveller website only have 98 entrants in the top 100. So at the moment it looks like Sarti and Lucio's are off the list. Stay tuned for more information....if I get any.