Sunday, June 21, 2009

Castelli's Fresh Pasta Cafe and Pizzeria

Castelli's Fresh Pasta Cafe and Pizzeria
2/11 Nash St, Rosalie

If I could pick my dream house/apartment now, I'd plonk it in Rosalie. It's my favorite suburb to chill in, beating other great contenders like West End, New Farm and Bulimba. I dig boutique village suburbs. The idea is: walk down the street and there are cafes, gourmet delis, restaurants etc at your doorstep.

Nash St in Rosalie has this vibe perfected. It's never rowdy or dangerous. My only qualm is that it's hard to find a parking spot but I suppose that wouldn't be a problem if I lived there...

Castelli's is somewhere I had passed on several occasions and wondered about. Again, in my pizza/pasta-craving mood, I thought I'd finally give them a go.

It's been chaotic these days with exams, post-exam partying etc so my sleeping pattern is totally out of whack (marked with consecutive days of no-sleep-at-all). Somehow, we didn't think to go to dinner until 8pm with a lot of confused thoughts like "how the hell is it 8pm right now?!"

This is what happens when uni finishes for a semester - complete lack of structure. Anyway, we get there and are thankful that the restaurant is still open for business.

As for food, we go with our normal strategy for squeezing as much variety as possible into one sitting: a pizza, a pasta and a bread to share. The atmosphere was lovely - cozy and homely. We chose a table that was well-lit with a bench that had magazines and books on it. It was a nice touch.

Warm Italian loaf with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

The Italian loaf arrived first. It's a monster - really big. The accompaniments are olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Charlie notes that the bread has a serated knife staked through the center and wonders if this is considered bad luck in China. I'm Chinese and have heard no such thing. I'm also very unsuperstitious. We don't use the knife anyway - warm loaves of bread are so much more fun to rip apart with bare hands for dunking into olive oil.

The bread is 'ok'. It's not as crusty or fragrant as I like. More so resembling a rustic-shaped supermarket loaf. We're hungry though so it goes down quite well. I also prefer butter with bread but since there wasn't any, I developed a better appreciation for olive oil.

The moment we finished our bread, the mains come. This happened at Il Centro as well and Charlie and I giggle to ourselves, thinking that we must be the slowest bread eaters in the world.

Small goats cheese and prosciutto pizza - tomato, cheese, fresh basil, marinated eggplant, artichoke, semi dried tomatoes, prosciutto, onion, meredith goat's cheese, herbs

I like the look of the pizza. I snap a photo really quickly and take a slice to munch on. The pizza is so good that I burnt my hard palate no less than 3 times and continued to eat it because it was delicious. Great flavors. Loved the base. Mmm...
crispy prosciutto, creamy goats cheese and sweet, caramelized onion = the win.

Hot spicy lamb spaghetti - tender lamb combined in a chili tomato sauce, with a touch of cream and fresh parsley

The pasta didn't look very appealing to me. Upon tasting it, my visual appraisal was justified. It was really... meh. The spaghetti itself was over-cooked and slightly gluggy. The sauce seemed to be a bit like the supermarket pre-packaged variety. But with less flavor (I'm being very harsh, I know). The dominant flavor was tomato but even this seemed bland. We fished out a few pieces of lamb and didn't enjoy that much either. I think that some cheese would have helped but not much.

Overall, I think that Castelli's would be great for a shared pizza. I'm keen to go back sometime and order a large one. Maybe a salad too. The pasta was such a miss for me that I wouldn't risk ordering another one. Prices were reasonable and service was quite good.

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  1. This pizza looks great. Hungry Kitten, may I have a suggestion: Next time when you take a photo, can you put a 50cents or $5 note or something besides, so I can get feeling of size of this kind of lovely pizza.

  2. Just been there last week and had a great time. The pasta is fresh as I saw them making it as I went through the kitchen (clean)...Billy Boy

  3. Pizza - we went to share pizza paid $42 for large pizzas not much bigger than a dinner plate - certainly not the size of a large pizza at the Kookaburra cafe or pizza capers. they came out after ages and they were not enough to feed 5 people only as a very light dinner. asked the waitress if we had the right size and she told me that is what she would expect from someone who eats at dominos and that we should not sit down if we couldnt afford the price. Paid the bill, can afford to eat what I like and much prefer many other restaurants in the bardon area or city. will never ever ever be back. even if you paid me

  4. Hi Anonymous...

    That sounds like an awful experience! Especially the part about 'someone who eats at dominos'. There is no need for insults...