Monday, February 15, 2016

400 Gradi Essendon - Great Place Out West

The ever increasing suburban sprawl means that there is a demand for good restaurants further and further out away from the city. Out South East, North, and now West is being serviced by proprietors who can see the increasing demand and are willing to take a risk and believe in the quality of their goods to attract an audience. This is the case with 400 Gradi Essendon. 400 Gradi already has a strong name thanks to Johnny Di Francesco winning the world's best pizza for his Margherita pizza, but it's still a risk to open up in a further out location. But the customers near Essendon clearly appreciate the simple, high quality food.

I love the fitout at Essendon, with the modern look feeling really relaxed. The men running the show there, Amando at front of house and Kosta (Johnny's brother in law and co-owner) really do a great job working the room, ensuring everyone is looked after and always smiling and having some fun with customers. That's what I like to see at restaurants.

Food wise, everything we tried was really good. A cured meats and cheese platter was huge and we struggled to finish all the beautiful items. We had to save room for all the other foods you know, such as the meatballs, which were seriously good. Perfect texture and a great sauce.

For the main part of the meal, we went for the three Ps, pizza, pasta and potatoes. Obviously the margherita pizza was really good. The crab spaghettini had good flavours and the pasta a good texture. I'd probably like my pasta just the tiniest bit softer, but that's just my own preference. The potatoes were excellent and so crunchy outside whilst being so soft inside.

Lastly for dessert, it was a super decadent chocolate fondant and some Zero Gradi gelato. The perfectly cooked fondant was so good in it's simplicity, and the gelato were all really nice. The margherita gelato (which initially I thought was going to be savoury sweet) is actually very good and just contains elements with colours that replicate the margherita pizza. A good fun gelato.

Overall I had a great time and loved the food. Parking was really easy along the side street and the service and ambiance were all very good. I highly recommend you go along if you live out West.

My guest and I dined courtesy of the restaurant.