Thursday, November 25, 2010

House hunting and pizza feasting in Toowoomba

La Porchetta for pizza OD
200A Hume Street, Toowoomba

So, everyone... I am moving to Toowoomba. My food blog is still going to be Brisbane-based but I'm going to sneak in the odd Toowoomba review, starting today.

Driving to Toowoomba

I've been going up and back quite often these days to try and secure accommodation. House inspections are fun for like... a day and then the novelty wears off when you realize how competitive it is and how much paperwork is involved.


Anyway, our plan today was to arrive in Toowoomba and eat. This might sound like an uber touristy thing to do but the first thing I did upon arriving was go to the information desk and ask for a local map. It wasn't actually for myself... my grandpa who lives in China is obsessed with maps and requested one specially so he would get to know my new area without physically visiting.

While I was at the info desk, I grabbed some food brochures and Hien was particularly attracted to the Italian restaurant La Porchetta.

It was only a quick drive away... honestly, everything in Toowoomba is a quick drive away from everywhere else. It's so refreshing, I love it! I am so looking forward to NOT spending 40min driving to and from clinic every day.

We got to La Porchetta and thought it was closed. Hien persisted and pushed the door which opened obligingly. Turns it it was open just a bit early for business to kick in... I'm not sure how busy they normally get but there were a few people getting takeaway in the time that we were there.

The way La Porchetta is set out kinda reminds me of a cafeteria. The whole time, I kept wishing they'd put on some music or brighten the lights so that it felt more alive.

The menu is huge though. Usually Italian restaurants give 5-6 options for pasta and the same amount of variation in pizza. This one had a little booklet that we could leaf through. I was stumped because everything seemed cheap and I was hungry for everything.

We ordered a tomato and mozzarella entree plus a large super special pizza (the flavor is called 'Super Special'; I'm not just calling it that). There was a bit of a misunderstanding because I thought Hien was getting a pasta for himself but he thought we were sharing the pizza. I should've known a large was enough for the both of us but I stupidly asked for another item: the three cheese foccacia. It was the special of the day and I had been eying it on the blackboard since we got there.

Tomato mozzarella and basil

The tomato and mozzarella was a super-sized version of the nowadays common 'bocconcini and cherry tomato' thing that lots of bistros do. I've never actually tried this combination myself but must say now I understand why so many restaurants/chefs do it... the bland cheese, tangy and sweet tomato and aromatic basil just work so perfectly together. This is simplicity at its best. I would definitely keep this in mind for future dinner parties. Hien couldn't get enough of this dish and announced that it was his 'new favorite thing in the world'. Yes, he is a bit dramatic.

Three cheese foccacia

The three cheese foccacia wasn't really a foccacia but in all other regards, it was exactly as I expected: extreme cheesiness. I knew it would hit the spot when I pulled a slice away and the oozy cheese tendrils draped across the whole plate. At the time, we didn't have any knives (the waitress remembered and offered some later on but by then, I was accustomed to using my hands like the true bogan I am :D) so I tried to maneuver everything with 2 forks.

Two fork technique for dealing with molten cheese threads

Honestly? I couldn't taste 3 distinct cheese types but even more importantly, I didn't give a rats. This kind of food will probably trigger a heart attack in anyone remotely health conscious but doesn't everyone have their cheese-craving days? When you get that urge, this is what you need.

By the time our super supreme pizza came, we were a bit pizza-ed out. We sort of looked at it and thought 'o.m.g.'

Large super special

It seemed way too much for 2 people to handle, even without the previous tummy fillers, we wouldn't have managed. The large doesn't muck around... it's very large. Not just in terms of diameter but height too!

Check out the sheer 'volume' of each slice

They packed on a LOT of stuff: ham, olives, anchovies (these were optional), capsicum, mushrooms and more cheese :D. I did feel sick after having a couple of slices but right now, typing this, I could go for another hehe.

The service at La Porchetta was great. The waitress was so friendly and obliged in giving me directions to one of the real estate offices. Though the place was quite and the ambiance... well, there is no real 'ambiance'. But the food was decent and it was hella cheap for a whole lot of stuff.

How did my house-hunting go? Success! We did go to one property where we were met by a pregnant black kitty. I asked 'is this a good omen?' and Hien looks at me and says '... it's a BLACK CAT'. I'm not superstitious or anything but in any case, I ended up with a different house :).
La Porchetta Toowoomba on Urbanspoon

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