74 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9654 2252

So me and the gang had dinner at Bottega this evening, using Adam’s birthday as an excuse to splurge on dinner. Even though we already had dinner at the Drum last weekend, we rationalised our decision to have another dinner by saying that a dinner with just us two isn’t a “proper” birthday celebration, therefore we needed a dinner with the rest of the gang for it to count as a birthday dinner. We had initially planned on inviting 7-8 people but in the end, only 4 of us could make it.

It was one helluva cold and rainy night in Melbourne as Adam and I walked up Bourke St hill where all the fancy Italian restaurants were. We were given a seat by the window and asked to look at the wine list (which even included a WATER LIST of sparkling/mineral waters at around $12 a pop!) but because me and Adam aren’t yet wine drinkers, we gave them a miss. Dinner was supposed to have started at 7pm but Aaron and Tim didn’t show up until half an hour later because they couldn’t find parking. Boohhh. Poor form guys. City. Saturday night. Do the maths. Come earlier. Once they got settled in, though, the fun began…

The best effing entree/starter I’ve had in an Italian restaurant so far! Seriously, it was nothing short of MAGNIFICENT. I ordered the peppered beef carpaccio which resembled mini strips of prosciutto but not as salty or chewy. It was topped with truffle aioli (mmmmm!), plus generous servings of capers and shaved parmesan bits made this dish a taste sensation.  ($18.50)
Adam had the homemade pappardelle pasta with oxtail ragu, which actually tastes nicer than this photo may suggest. It was Adam’s first taste of oxtail and although he seemed hesitant in ordering this, I reckon he really liked it judging by how he managed to finish this in a matter of minutes! ($24.50 for an entree-sized serving)

I decided to go with a pasta for my main. I had a homemade nettle tagliatelle with fresh spanner crab ($32) as did Tim. I don’t think I’ve had nettle before but I really liked the herby/tea-like flavour it gave to the dish although I wasn’t sure if Tim thought the same thing as he shoved his nettle to the side. I was disappointed that there wasn’t much in terms of spanner crab and the fact that this MAIN was pretty much the same size as Adam’s entree (above) but on the other hand. Such a shame because I really liked this dish. For half the price I could’ve got something twice as big as my local La Porchetta but then again, at Bottega you are not paying for generic Aussie-Italian. You’re paying for taste and quality and in that regard, Bottega DID delivers so I guess I shouldn’t really complain…

Adam’s char-grilled aged Scotch fillet with marrow, pecorino, horseradish and parsley salad ($38). I only managed to have one bite of it and I guess it tasted okay but then again, I don’t usually order steak when I’m eating out so I don’t really have anything to compare to. On the other hand, Adam seemed to like it and he did say he was pretty fully afterwards so I guess he made the right choice with his main.Dessert! While Tim and Aaron had coffees and dessert wines, Adam and I decided to splurge for dessert. Being the coffee enthusiast that he is, Adam got the affogato set which came with espresso (white mug), Gianduia ice-cream (middle) and frangelico ($14). You’re supposed to pour both liquids onto the ice-cream, the combination of which, I’m sure, would taste awesome but because Adam was driving, he had to give the frangelico a miss so I gulped it down while eating my dessert.

My vanilla panna cotta with blue berries and candied lime ($14.50). Very refreshing, yum!


Happy Birthday, Ad!

I think we all enjoyed eating at Bottega. The food was, generally speaking, great. Despite some of our mains being rather meager in size, I think all of us were pretty satisfied. I guess the starters made all the difference as I’m sure we would’ve all ran to Hungry Jacks or something if we just had a main each (especially me and Tim with our fist-sized mains!). Service-wise, we didn’t really have any complaints. The waiters were attentive earlier on (when we were the only few diners who were there) but it became harder to get their attention as the restaurant became packed which, I guess, is understandable. Their service, while not rude, could have been a bit more friendly but then again, having been to a lot of other top-notch restaurants and having experienced some really good service (Ezard and Flower Drum, to name a few), I guess my standards are pretty high. As for the value-for-money factor… hmmm, obviously one wouldn’t come here right after a game at the MCG (especially with your team colours!) for a casual meal and expect to pay less than $20 but given that I was expecting to pay around $400 for all of us, I was happy to have only paid $270 for everything (once again, Adam and I don’t really drink so that played a factor in the final bill too) which meant that I still have some money to burn for tomorrow, yay! Bottega = would definitely go again, if only to have their beef carpaccio 4-5 times in one sitting! Heh!
I eat too much.


  1. lilpikachu
    April 26, 2008

    Looks like you guys had an awesome night – with great food too! Me and Kevin had dinner last night at GoShen (the Korean restaurant at The Glen) which was okay – I would much rather have preferred dinner at Bottega (given how tasty looking your meal was!) 

  2. icesabre
    April 26, 2008

    Yep I told you hahaha. I’d take a dinner from Bottega (even though I ain’t ever been there) anyday over dinner at Cho Gao. All Cho Gao is good for is catchup (and not getting trashed) and the snacks. Dinner/lunch food at Cho Gao is *thumbs down* but their drink snacks are really good…

  3. aznality
    April 26, 2008

    You have a tendency to go to expensive restaurants. lol.

  4. peach_water
    April 27, 2008

    OOO the chili fries looks yum!
    I really like your hair, its so nice and shiny 🙂

  5. s_l_v
    April 27, 2008

    The food looks yum besides the tiny portions! When you were like “this pasta is entree size” then right after that “this pasta is main size” I’m like wtf it’s the same?! I think as long as you didn’t walk away really pissed off at bad service or bad food then the price you paid is alright. I don’t think I’d ever have carpaccio though, that’s raw yeah? Ew.

    Man I am seriously craving some fries now cos of that pic.. They don’t even have to be chili fries, I just want fresh fries straight from the frier mmm.. They have fries at work but they’re usually cold and limp by the time I get to them, or they happen to unload the fresh batch right after I’ve purchased mine

  6. […] But sometimes, I love to go back to the restaurants that have won me over many years ago. Take Bottega, for example. A generally positive experience but in hindsight, after eating at more than my fair […]


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