Detail cannot be underestimated. Like any skill, it takes time to master attention to detail and requires patience. The same can be applied to Italian cooking. The beauty of Italian cooking is to execute with great attention to detail, with the final product appearing simple and effortless.
Italian cuisine (like many national foods) is centered around sharing with friends and family. Miss SL has known Mr Pen and The Doctor for ten years now (!) and so it was just like old times when she caught up with them for brunch with Mr LB. Starting the day with a morning coffee at Placeholder, we then moved on to Ladro on Gertrude Street. We had heard that Ladro on Greville Street had recently offered brunch, and in the confusion of organising our brunch date we ended up at the wrong one.
Ladro has firmly established itself in providing a sleek dining space. It was a very formal lunch and we were one of two groups in the venue. The space is suitable for a weekend lunch (indoors or out); with the inside space offering diners the view of the open kitchen layout.
INSALATA RUCOLA – rocket grana padano, walnuts, roof top honey (above, top photo) [$11]; this dish was eaten by one of our dining companions. While seemingly not much, he assured us that he found the dish filling enough for his (small) appetite and found it enjoyable.
INSALATA FARRO – farro, mizuna, roasted grapes, shallots, almonds (above, below photo)[$14]; this dish was surprisingly filling and delicious. The farro, a quinoa-type grain in the dish was a beautiful combination with the rest of the salad. The grapes added sweetness while the almonds and shallots grounded the dish in its simplicity whilst creating a range of textures.
SALUMI BOARD – San Daniele Riserva Prosciutto, Mortadella, Salami Tartufo, Wagyu Bresaola (below)[$15]; a pretty basic selection of aged and dried meats to wet the palate and act as a filler. The prosciutto was the highlight of the platter and while the selection was fresh and delicious, lacked a certain ‘wow’ factor.
GNOCCHI – Roman style oxtail ragu (above)[$22] – this was another dish eaten by cohorts at the table. We were informed that the gnocci was well made and was suitably light and fluffy. The ragu mix was rich and the dish was tasty.
BADABING – tomato, provolone, pork sausage, oregano, chilli, basil (above); the base was baked to a perfect crisp and married nicely with Ladro’s famous pizza sauce. The sauce itself was thick and moist with a strong tomato and capsicum-like taste with no sign of dryness – simply a delight. The pieces of pork sausage were suitably portioned for the pizza and the herb toppings made for a high quality dish.
Ladro Gertrude Street proves you don’t need to visit Lygon Street, Carlton for a great pizza. In fact, it’s a pizzeria that adds a special dining experience without the Italian heckle.
Sundays: Noon – 3pm
Mon -Thur: 6pm – late
Fri -Sun: 5:30pm – late