Having being around for 20 years, operating in the political and academic capital of Australia, Belucci's has been a main stay of southern European dining. It opened its second restaurant in Woden several years ago and I had the privilege of being taken there.
It was a Saturday evening and the suburbs of Canberra are not the noisy hubs of night life that one encounters elsewhere in other capital cities like Melbourne and Sydney. I rather enjoyed the quiet charm outside as an alternative, with easier vehicle parking but with a rather boisterous atmosphere once we stepped inside the place. We were given a relatively private table on the side.
Immediately I loved the building that house the restaurant, standing tall over the darkness of the evening. The lay out inside had a centrepiece of a welcoming counter and yet had a more captivating kitchen space at the back. The staff took initiative to make suggestions, that was a good sign.
For starters, my eye caught the listing of the crispy skinned pork belly garnished by Vincotto and apple slaw. The slow brew and reduction of non-fermented grape in making VIncotto results in caramelised sugars and a cooked wine with more concentrated flavours.
The mushroom Arancini has cauliflower puree and Parmesan shavings to help enhance the overall bite. This snack of a Risotto had moved through the years from humble beginnings in Italy to be an elegant, grown up speciality.
|A combination starter platter.|
|Meat roast and potatoes.|
Staff service was attentive and friendly , even if it was a busy night with tables spread out over a rather large dining area. I enjoyed the mains of the Marinara, provided with luscious chilli garlic, more than hints of the ocean and well stirred with al dente pasta.
It had been a wonderful catch up with new and known friends, who had come from far and near to gather at our table. We opted out of a cheese platter but covered seafood, produce from the range, dessert, breads and a selection from the vineyards.
|Spaghetti Alla Marinara.|
Zabaglione is whisked up from Sicilian Marsala, castor sugar, white wine and egg yolks. The custard like outcome added a special touch to the Tiramisu served, together with the Mascarpone , trifle, liquor and coffee, the serving brought to us was topped with chocolate shards. My other fav to wind up dining for the night is the French vanilla bean creme Brulee served with almond Biscotti.
Belluci's Italian visited is located at the corner of Launceston and Irving Streets in Woden, Canberra. There is another restaurant outlet in Manuka.
Opening hours are from12noon to 230pm for lunch every day; for dinner on Saturdays from 530pm till late; and from Sundays to Fridays from 6pm till late.
Contact +612 6282 1700