While it is hard to not fall head over heels with a Italian model or sports car, it is probably even harder to not drool over good Italian food. When a coupon website promoted an Italian 3-course meal for two @ $49, I was SOLD! Many times have I passed the Kwinana freeway but I have never noticed this little eatery tucked among the many dwellings on Melville Parade. Ironically though both D’Tandoor and Pagoda on the same row were more noticeable with their bright neon blue and red sign boards which reminds me of a certain place in Bangkok. After calling countless of times, we finally managed a slot yesterday night. As of now, my list of good Italian food consists of Spaghi’s or Ciao Italia which all in car terms would have been supercars these day. So how did Ribauldo’s fare in this stiff competition? Well head down to see what we ordered ;)!
Bread was a mix of hard and some crispy. A balsamic and olive oil mix has been a favourite of mine although Bruschetta is still my no.1 :)! However, my housemate Nee taught otherwise and felt that the offerings in another restaurant was better. But hmm, thinking of what she said, I too realise that the balsamic vinegar felt lacking. Perhaps it was a little sweetness that was needed. I did not eat the olives by the way, never liked the flavour ahah. But fishman said it adds a unique flavour to the bread!
A fresh garden salad was next and all I can say is MOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!
Fishman kept complaining that the little darling and I are unhealthy because we refuse to even touch it but blahhh!! I wanted to keep my stomach for the mains and dessert :P!
Now that we have reached the mains, I clearly understand why the patrons are divided over the food served at Ribaudo’s! While most of the mains were decent, one was just atrocious! We ordered the following:
The Spaghetti Marinara had tiger prawns, fish, calamari, cooked in a sauce with garlic, onions, white wine, tomato, Basil and chilli, finished with fresh parsley and lemon. End product? A very delicious Marinara that carried a subtle seafood fragrant while packing loads of taste in each strand of pasta. The seafood presented was odourless with a strong garlic taste and a hint of spiciness. For me, this was the winner of the night. Fishman being a lover of seafood had plenty to comment on the way Australians misuse the word tiger prawn. He said the size of the tiger prawns here are pretty much the same size as the head of the tiger prawns he gets back in Malaysia. I cannot help but agree too. However, the optically miniscule prawns did not stop him from loving this tongue-tastic pasta!!! Nee Nee liked this too but the little darling did not have any because she is unfortunately allergic to seafood.
This next dish was really tiny! Vitello alla Griglia or grilled organic veal medallions served with creamy mashed potato finished with a red jus! As the veal slices were really small, it was hard for it not to be cooked through. The end result was a slightly tougher than usual slice of meat which to my housemates and I is a little tiring to eat. The mash tended to be dense and still had small bits of potatoes. Not quite sure whether this was intentional or not but it was edible! Over all, a decent but not really recommended dish!
The next dish was the Lasagne con Pollo or sheets of pasta layered with chicken sugo, Béchamel, Parmesan and Mozzarella. While the initial impressions were good, a spoon of it had me think otherwise. Overcooked pasta sheets which literally disintegrate was not quite the way I would have liked it. The chicken sugo were like broken bits of chicken tasting clay. The cream sauce was not enough to moisten the whole experience and hmm. Ok put it this way. I did not like it, neither did fishman and Nee Nee. Little darling kept mum for the moment ahah!
Lastly was the Pizza de Carne which had a good topping of chicken, olives and mushroom. The cheese was enough, the chicken tasty but the crust was all but hmm not quite there yet. Go around our dining table and you will find half eaten pizza crusts. You then cannot help but conclude that the crust just did not satisfy!!
But it was not all doom and gloom even though the mains did not quite put up the show we expected. Nonetheless, move over main and welcome the desserts!
The Vanilla and Raspberry Panna cotta served with Raspberry Coulis and Fresh Strawberry
Both desserts turned out well for us. Without a doubt, the favourite for the night was the panna cotta which was uber smooth and to me I though it was very carefully served too! Taking small scoops and a paying attention to the dessert, the little darling found a small layer of white chocolate at the bottom of the Panna cotta! Yummy! Overtime, this Piedmontese dessert has been adopted by various non-Italian cultures. The Japanese for instance have reinvented the dessert in a way which incorporates green tea, an iconic Japanese beverage. But going back to its roots, the Italians does it best! As for the ice cream, it was pretty nice but ahah it tasted salty too =X! Perhaps it is just a way to bring out the chocolate in this dessert? I know many cooks use salt to help bring the flavours of the chocolate together, so I guess it really works!
Overall, our dinner at Ribaudo’s was quite a nice one with some hits and misses. For the price of the coupons, it was well worth the buck! However, the restaurant could do better with its pizza base. It simply just went into the oven for too long! Also, the veal should have appeared more generous as a main. The lasagne.. really was no more than canteen/cafeteria quality and should have been a whole lot better. Luckily, the night ended sweetly with a delicious Panna Cotta which really lifted my mood from :( to ! In the end, is Ribaudo’s a supercar or a normal one? Well, Ribaudo’s is worth a try and perhaps paying full price will make a difference. In fact, it had better make a difference because for the price it charges, it has a lot of expectations to meet! Over and out :P!