454 Whitehorse Road
Mitcham VIC 3132
+61 3 9873 0268
It seems odd to be blogging about a Mother’s Day dinner a month later from now on, I’m going to blog about ‘special events’ as soon as I can. In the meantime, here’s a wrap-up of Mother’s Day dinner at Bucatini, in Mitcham.
I probably would never have heard of this Aus-Italian restaurant if it weren’t for my mum’s boss. You see, now that she’s a full-fledged member of the full-time workers club of Australia at the young age of 50-something, she’s been socialising with people who aren’t Indonesian. This has opened up her eyes to many things: discovering office politics, realising that it’s not just her kids who misbehave and most importantly, discovering new places to eat. Her boss took his staff to Bucatini for a staff lunch of some sort and because my mum enjoyed her meal so much, she suggested that we take her there for Mother’s Day. Fine with us.
Located in Mitcham, the restaurant is only a couple of suburbs away from us. This made it a very convenient location, though it did seem odd driving into the restaurant which was nestled amongst the factory outlets and car dealers that populate the dark and deserted Whitehorse Road.
Being Mother’s Day, dinner was unbelievably busy when we walked in just after 8pm that Sunday. This meant that we did have to be super patient but the staff not only did their best, they did it with smiles on their faces. Props to them.
We ordered several dishes to share. First up, the antipasto platter. A trio of tzatziki, eggplant and carrot dip complemented the cured meats and roasted capsicum and eggplant. There was a generous amount of flat bread to lap everything up. We also enjoyed some calamari, which was lightly coated in flour and lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper. It was an alright dish but I did expect a bit more, only because I think my mum talked it up a bit too much.
The pizzas here are of the soft and doughy La Porchetta kind, the kind that my parents love so there were no complaints when our Con Tutto pizza arrived. The base provided enough happiness and carbs to last two days, while ham, tomato, cheese, mushroom, olives, onion, capsicum, hot salami and prawns completed the package. It wasn’t bad.
Grain-fed eye fillet served with a pumpkin and sweet potato mash, wilted spinach and mushroom sauce ($39.90).
My sister Janice suggested we order the grain-fed eye fillet, cooked medium-rare. I’m not a fan of sweet potato and I only like pumpkin in soup form so I stayed away from the mash. I did eat the rest of it though which, like the pizza, wasn’t too bad. I did think the steak wasn’t the most flavoursome and the mushroom sauce was bland.
I was most disappointed with the lasagne though. The portion we received was tiny – hell, Gianni’s café near my work made a larger one for $8 AND you also get salad or chips with your meal. Here, the taste didn’t make up for the portion size either. It was only slightly better than the ones you get from the fridge at Woolworths, and there was nowhere near as enough meat in it. Avoid this dish like crazy witch Melisandre!
I might be the first person to say ‘no’ to desserts in any given circumstance but I belong to a family of sweet lovers so having dessert was a given. Our first dessert – and probably my favourite – was the gelati trio staring the flavours of lemon, strawberry and pistachio. I loved every flavour, and the portions were generous too.
My brother Kenneth insisted on the crème brûlée. I wouldn’t say that this was one of the better ones I’ve had – it was really thick and tasted one-dimensional.
I did like the mixed berry crêpes, despite the fact that the berry to crêpe ratio was lopsided. The crêpes were beautifully thin and I loved that the vanilla ice cream’s sweetness offset the tangy berries beautifully.
Although I won’t go so far to say that Bucatini the best Italian restaurant I’ve been to, its popularity with the locals show that it’s not go to quietly wilt away. The menu boasts a good variety of dishes that will please even the fussiest eaters, and at reasonable prices too (except for that bloody lasagne). And while I’ll try to convince my mother to eat somewhere else next year for Mother’s Day, I don’t think I’ll be too annoyed if she insists on eating here again.