Monday, April 19, 2010

Donnini's Pasta

Tradition-bound Italian pasta

What can evoke a higher level of romanticism than Italian hand-made pasta that follows an age-old conventional recipe and a modus operandi bound by tradition?

Originally, owned by the Donnini’s in 1981, the Lygon pasta shop was bought over six years later by another Italian family, the Omizzolos. The name has since remained the same and so has the passion and philosophy to strive for freshness and authenticity.

When you’re talking gourmet today, you simply cannot go past artisanal bread, unpasteurised cheeses and organic vegetables – these are assumed staple stocks in any ‘real’ foodies’ pantry or fridge. If it is commercialised or wholesale, it has long been dubbed ‘uninteresting’ and ‘mainstream’.

Our tastes may have changed over time along with accessibility, yet Donnini’s Pasta Shop remains far from a relic of the past, but rather a testament to a bygone era proving some traditions die hard. No matter what time of day you step into the shop it’s always bustling with faithful regulars coming in for their daily pasta fix. And it’s not hard to see why the place is so popular. The window displays are crammed with scintillating flat, winding ribbons of saffron and pepper pappardelle, squiggly threads of spinach and tomato linguini as well as an array of unusual delights ranging from cute, little pillows of agnolotti stuffed with the likes of ricotta and beetroot, sweet potato and leek. If you like to keep things simple, worry not. Classic Italian favourites such as beef tortellini and ravioli as well as light gnocchi are also available.

Donnini’s serves up to 21 kinds of freshly-made pasta everyday as well as a range of sauces, available at any of their four retail stores.

Check their website for outlet areas and contact details.

Friday, April 16, 2010


When I was a little girl I learned a wise lesson that has become invaluable today – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. BUT what about if something is so unjust, unfair and ridiculously so? In this case my belief has always been and continues to be that as a journalist I have a commitment and duty to the public to ensure my voice and experience is heard to prevent others, even if just one poor soul from the same fateful encounter whether it be a brand manufacturing clothing with dodgy finishing or a restaurant serving lousy food.

Ecstatic about my move to Melbourne, the opportunity to suss out the many restaurants of the city and catch up with old friends with the possibility of making new ones as well I dined at Cupidos one Lygon Street that advertised Lebanese food. The place was average from the ambience that was both tired and tried while the food was plain and simple substandard westernised chow flaunting sheesha or water pipes with flavoured smoke as incentive to its bright eyed and bushy tailed customers.

We opted the banquet – my verdict – the dips were decent, the main skewer platter overcooked and tough consisting of dry, tasteless cubed chicken and lamb and semi-palatable sheesh kebab. The seafood platter we specially ordered was by the far the biggest farce – a whole snapper without any marinade or flavour, crumbed squid rings and seared prawns minus even a hint of lemon or herbs. The meal was a big let down and the only thing that could be said was the company was great and the wine was flowing.

52 Lygon Street,

Carlton 3053

Ph: +61 (03) 9650 4433