Ever since I was small, I loved watching documentaries. I’d get mesmerised by the deep soothing voices coming out of the TV and the mysterious happenings that I could not understand. I especially liked unsolved cases such as Marilyn Monroe’s death and what the true meaning of Mona Lisa’s smile was. I would often look in the mirror and try to mimic that same smile with mum’s scarf over my head but I’d always get scolded afterwards to do homework.
Unlike my love for documentaries, my love for pizza isn’t as high up there. I tend to order pastas or steaks at Italian restaurants as I find pizzas a bit too doughy. The only pizzas I like are the ones that have very thin crust and topped with gourmet ingredients. Yuye’s dad on the other hand, absolutely LOVES pizzas. It’s his favourite food. He also likes American style thick crust pizzas. So when he’s back in Melbourne, there’s no doubt pizzas will be on the menu.
On the last day before Yuye’s dad left for China, we enjoyed…yes you guessed it…a meal out at an Italian restaurant. I chose this place called Piccolino Pizza Restaurant in Mount Waverley due to the name of their steak – Mona Lisa eye fillet which, although I didn’t understand the connection, intrigued me. The restaurant wasn’t big but it was almost completely full on a Sunday night, although there were only two waitresses serving. They were grossly understaffed. As we were seated at the back, no one even noticed that we were not given menus or even water for over 10 minutes, maybe longer. I wasn’t too happy. When the menus came, I was fairly hungry already.Yuye’s dad unsurprisingly ordered pizza, it was a large Con Tutto, equivalent to ‘the lot’ for $16.50 with extra cheese on top. I think the extra cheese cost 80 cents more. It wasn’t a bad pizza although it wasn’t thin crust. There was a thick layer of cheese on top along with olives, prawns, capsicums, mushrooms, ham, onions and more. It was a better pizza of the type although I’d have preferred one of the gourmet ones with salmon or proscuitto.
Yuye’s mum as always ordered a marinara risotto for $17. It wasn’t a cheap dish but there was a fair bit of risotto to share. This dish was probably my favourite of the night as it had the perfect blend of lemon, parsley and seafood. It was full of prawn and squid pieces with parsley mixed throughout and we finished off the dish in an instant.
I ordered the ‘Johnny Special’ – pan fried baby veal, topped with roma tomato, fresh garlic, fresh chilli, mushrooms and white wine for $24. It wasn’t a bad dish. There were 3 pieces of tender and thin veal with a very tasty sauce and consisted of rosemary and parsley cooked down in a lot of beef stock. The sauce though was a little too salty as I continued eating. The sides were quite large and consisted of king prawns, carrots, pumpkin and baked potatoes. I did not see the roma tomato however, which I didn’t even notice at the time. In hindsight, I feel like they may have given me the wrong dish.
Yuye ordered the Mona Lisa eye fillet (someone had to) which was 350g for $32. According to the menu it is ‘grilled to perfection with avocado, king prawns, cream and brandy sauce’.
We all found it be less than perfect to say the least. Yuye had asked for medium rare but the steak came as half well done and half medium well. It was so dry and tough that I felt sorry for such a good cut of meat. Like some readers might know, I love my meats rare. In fact, I’d eat good cuts of meat blue. This was one of the worst steaks I’ve had. If the answer to Mona Lisa’s mystery is as bad as this, then I’d rather not find out. Ever. Boy was I disappointed.
The steak had similar side ingredients as my dish and they were not bad although not enough to make up for the bad steak.
Our water bottle was empty and was not refilled until we asked. Our bill did not arrive until we approached the waitress a second time. Apparently she took the bill, held onto it and started serving other people. All in all, the food may have been mostly not bad, with the exception of the terrible steak, the service I did not like. I’m not sure if I’d return, but due to the close proximity of the restaurant to Yuye’s house, it’s possible that we might go back for takeaway pizza and risotto but never again will I order their steak.Question time: What TV shows did you like to watch as a child? Do you have your own theories about Mona Lisa’s smile?
Phone: (03) 9803 1885
53 Blackburn Rd, Mount Waverley VIC 3149