22 Margaret Street, Moonee Ponds
03 9375 1160
- Bruschetta Caprese
- Gnocchi Zucca & Spinaci
- Papardelle Ragu
- Funghi Pizza with Prosciutto
- Quattro Fromaggi Pizza
- Carosello Sorbetto Trio
- Nutella Calzone
We started off with the Arancini and weren’t disappointed. At a hefty seize, each arancini was costed in a crumbly batter that was fried to a crunchy golden brown. Breaking open the outer shell reveals an exceptionally gooey and cheesy inner, mixed with a delicious beef ragu and soft Aborio rice. Served with some white truffle aioli, this gave it a welcome depth in flavour.
The Polpette we sampled were another highlight. Exceptionally juicy and tender, the meatballs simply melted away in your mouth. The flavourful beef mince was further enhanced by baking in a rich and bold tomato sugo. Simple yet delicious.
We also enjoyed the Bruschetta Caprese. Generously topped with chunky cuts of Fior di Latte, tomato and pesto, the ingredients were fresh and wholesome. The drizzle of balsamic vinegar provided an interesting tang to the dish. While the bread itself could’ve been more toasted to provide a greater crunch, it was overall enjoyable nonetheless.
The Gnocchi Zucca and Spinaci was most definitely the highlight of the evening. With a mix of beautifully caramelised pumpkin and fresh baby spinach, the dish felt light yet bold with flavour. The gnocchi itself was soft and fluffy, cooked to perfection. This was well complemented by the goats curd and balsamic vinegar, both of which provided interesting twists in flavour.
We also enjoyed the Pappardelle Ragu. With an exceptionally rich and flavoursome tomato base, the sauce inherited a strong beef sensation from the chunks of soft beef cheek. The pappardelle was cooked to just the perfect softness, with a slight eggy flavour throughout. Cooked to perfect tenderness, the protein almost melted in your mouth.
Unfortunately the pizzas here failed to excite the tastebuds. The pizza bases were universally too soggy and watery, resulting in a bland and lacklustre experience.
The Funghi Pizza with added prosciutto was most definitely lacking in flavour, most likely due to the quality of ingredients used. Chewy and stringy, the prosciutto lacked its signature depth, while the mushrooms were limp, watery and lacked freshness.
While the Quattro Fromaggi packed more flavour and the mix of the cheeses were enjoyable, similar issues prevailed in terms of soggyness in the base of the pizza.
We unfortunately didn’t enjoy the desserts. The Sorbets were excessively sweet and were clearly artificially flavoured, creating a chemical aftertaste with each spoonful.
The Nutella Calzone was also disappointing. While the sheer size of the thing was impressive and is best shared, we found the inner sparingly filled with Nutella. The outer crust of the calzone was exceedingly dry and coarse, with texture and sensation akin to trying to chew through cardboard.
The Tiramisu came in a generous serve. While the top layers were nice and creamy, the lower layers grew gradually more damp and watery, which resulted in a very bland and unpleasant experience. It was also noticeably lacking in both the flavour of coffee or chocolate.
Despite the flawed execution, it was overall a pleasant meal, bar the desserts. Spectacular and authentic Italian it was not, though Carosello provides a taste of Italian that’s catered towards suburban family dining.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
I’d definitely be back for more of that Gnocchi and Arancini if I were in the area again!
Penguineats would like to thank @real_forking_diet and Carosello for inviting us.