3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
03 9699 3600
- Calamari Alla Griglia
- Tritato di Wagyu
- Arancini with Beef and Mozzarella
- Tortelloni Allo Scoglio
- Prosciutto Cotto e Funghi Pizza
- Costoletta Di Manzo
- Heaven For Two – Chocolate Ecstasy
We began with the Calamari Alla Griglia and were immediately impressed. Marinated overnight, the calamari was incredibly tender and succulent. Well-spiced and offering tonnes of flavour, the generously sized slices of squid was well accompanied by a hint of lemon that did wonders in spicing up the flavours.
The Arancini was no less enjoyable. The crispy, golden brown outer shell delicately encased an inner rice ball that was pillowy soft. Within, we found the mixture of pulled beef and mozarella cooked to absolute perfection, with a beautiful beef aroma that was well accompanied by a deluge of flavourful, runny cheese that simply filled your mouth with each bite.
Another highlight was the Tortelloni Allo Scoglio. The delicate parcels of tortelloni were beautifully presented. Swimming in a pool of rich saffron butter sauce, the thin, egg-based parcels of pasta encased a flavoursome and tender mixture of crab, prawn and ricotta that was soft yet offered up a diverse texture. All accompanied by some fresh herbs and crushed tomatoes that provided a hint of refreshing sensation, this unassuming pasta dish certainly impressed.
We also enjoyed the Prosciutto Cotto e Funghi Pizza. The hand-made dough was baked in a true Roman style, with the base remaining incredibly crispy and held its structural integrity quite well throughout. The rich and sweetened tomato base made for a solid foundation for the pizza, which was liberally topped with tender slices of shaved prosciutto as well as melted chunks of quality fior di latte. All combined with some mushrooms and fresh basil, the pizza certainly delivered on the authentic Italian flavours we were looking for.
Our special of the evening, the Costolleta di Manzo, definitely surprised in more ways than one. The 250g Rib Eye was cooked to just the perfect medium rare as requested. With some light charring, the outer skin of the steak was bursting with flavour, helped by a pinch of salt scattered throughout. Cutting into the protein reveals an exceptionally tender and succulent inner, simply melting away in your mouth with an incredible beef flavour. Our only gripe about the dish would be the fried potatoes, which would’ve been flawless if not for the sweet glaze that coated each slice.
We polished off our meal with the Heaven For Two, which is aptly named the Chocolate Ecstasy. Served in a huge, fish-bowl-like glass, calling this a beautiful concoction is an understatement. Within, multiple chunks of warm, triple choc brownies offered up a decidedly fudgey and indulgent sensation, which was well accompanied by the vanilla and nougat ice cream. With strawberries and blueberries dotted throughout, the dessert was well balanced in sweetness, though still manages to satisfy any sweet tooth’s craving.
The Tritato di Wagyu, skinless wagyu sausages, were promising, though fell short on expectations.While we thoroughly enjoyed the beefy flavour and the course ground of the meat, the sausage themselves were undeniably tougher and chewier than expected. Perhaps mixing in a greater proportion of fat into the grind would’ve generated a better result.
Situated along Southbank with a stunning view, La Camera definitely exceeded all of our expectations. Despite the extensive menu, all the dishes that we sampled were universally well-executed and delicious.
With unexpected and interesting twists thrown in here and there, La Camera definitely lifted some of these traditional Italian staples to a new level, and with a killer view alongside, it’s no surprise they were full-house!
Would Penguin Eat Again?
You can count on it. These were some of the best calamari and steaks we’ve sampled, and there’s no doubt we will be back for more!
Penguineats would like to thank owner Paul for inviting us to La Camera.