I know Father’s Day was almost 2 months ago, I somehow subconsciously avoided blogging about the dinner I had together with my family and Yuye’s family that day until now. I blame it on the sheer number of dishes we ordered and the restaurant visits following that one, resulting in me pushing the review back…Yes I also know this is not a very good excuse. It wasn’t that the meal was bad or anything!
In fact, we had a lovely time that night. Although the team seemed quite young, the service was attentive and fast and we enjoyed the food on the most part.
Sette Bello boasts being the best Italian restaurant in a 10km radius of themselves, as they are the only restaurant in that area to be awarded a spot in the prestigious The Age Good Food Guide, for 2 consecutive years too. For a restaurant set in an industrial estate with hardly any transport or foot traffic, that’s quite something!
Before finding out about this restaurant, my family frequented Fedeles (which I realised I haven’t yet blogged about, oops!) which is on the same busy Springvale Road but closer to me. Compared to Fedeles, Sette Bello has a distinctly more modern vibe that’s also visible in their dish offerings.
Complimentary bread was served for the table which was delicious little dinner rolls. This kept my belly happy while we waited for dishes to arrive.
I ordered a lemon lime and bitters ($5) which was refreshing and had just the right amount of bitters – sometimes it’s so little you can hardly taste it.
We ordered bruschetta for each person ($6 each) which were refreshing and delicious. It came with the usual basil, tomato and balsamic vinegar, but I did think it was quite expensive since Yuye can make it equally good at home and for quite cheap, but I can’t think that way when I dine out now can I? Or else I’d be complaining about everything!
As there were 7 of us, we decided to also order a dozen Kilpatrick oysters ($36) to share. It was the first time my parents and Yuye’s parents tried these and they thought it was nice, although a bit too salty due to the bacon. I loved it though, it’s better to be more bacon than not enough. I think I still prefer raw oysters with just a bit of lemon juice and salt though, since I’m starting to love that natural taste, but that’s just personal preference.
I had a look at their menu, and I couldn’t find the oysters on the menu which makes me think it may have been a seasonal dish.
I ordered the double roasted spiced half duck over cannellini bean puree, braised red cabbage, baby pear and pomegranate glaze ($35) as my main. It was by far the best dish of the and everyone who tried my dish agreed. I was quite impressed with how succulent and tender the duck was, a lot better than the regular duck dishes I order at Italian or French restaurants where the meats are usually quite dry. It went very well with the bean puree and sweet braised cabbage and I also loved the textural elements on the dish with the pear. Overall it was a well executed dish.
Yuye’s dish was the opposite of mine, it was the worst dish of the night, in my opinion. He had ordered the Porchetta ($35) – crispy skinned pork belly over roma patties with sautéed spinach, caramelised apple and sherry vinegar reduction. Yes it sounds like the perfect dish for a pork belly loving person which we both were and was also the most obvious choice for Yuye too. However, the pork was just so overly salty that it seemed more like salted pork than anything else. Also the skin wasn’t all that crispy either which was a huge shame. The rest of the ingredients and condiments on the dish were not bad, but the pork was meant to be hero of the dish and that was frankly quite disappointing.
My brother decided to be very different that day and ordered the Sicilian style braised rabbit ($35). I loved how generous the sauce was which could be an issue with some restaurants and was also surprised at how tasty and tender the meat was. It went well with the other ingredients on the plate, as well as the al dente broccolini.
My dad ordered his usual eye fillet ($35) – Gippsland grass-fed eye fillet steak (250g) served on salsa verde, gnocchi di semolina, chianti braised baby onions and rosemary jus. The meat was very juicy and cooked to medium rare which was what we ordered. However, dad found it a little plain, meaning the sauce did not have as much of an impact.
Mum and Yuye’s dad both ordered the saddle of lamb ($35) – rolled and roasted saddle of lamb, wet braised lamb shoulder wrapped in film, smokey eggplant purse,green beans and white balsamic jus. Again the meat was quite tender and the green beans were cooked to perfection, still al dente and slightly crispy. However, the overall taste was again a bit dull and not anything memorable.
Yuye’s mum ordered the lobster and scallop risotto ($32) in a rich crustacean broth with artichoke and cherry tomato. After watching Masterchef, I’ve come to appreciate just how difficult it is to make risotto so I give kudos to the chef for creating a balanced and well cooked risotto. The flavours were all there. I could distinctly taste the seafood in the broth and slight tang of the cherry tomatoes which tied the flavours together very well. However, for $32, I was expecting to see larger pieces of lobster and scallops, or at least a larger portion size, making all of us feel it wasn’t very value for money.
As sides, we ordered 2 salads. The first salad was the caprese salad ($8), consisting of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese (it has since increased to $9). This salad was quite similar to the bruschetta we ordered at the start so perhaps we shouldn’t have ordered this and people didn’t seem too interested in eating so much tomatoes again. But it was what it looked like, refreshing and tomatoey.
The second salad we ordered was the rocket, pear and parmesan ($8) which has also since decreased in price to $7 it seems. It was a nice, although again slightly dull and uninteresting salad. There could have been a bit more pear since I don’t recall actually getting any.
After all these dishes, everyone were very full so we had to skip dessert. The options available also didn’t interest me for some reason but upon closer look while writing this post, a few desserts did strike me as interesting, perhaps the menu changed or I was just very silly. Anyway, desserts are in order during my next visit.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Sette Bello, even though some dishes failed to wow. I thoroughly enjoyed my half duck dish and the others were great on the most part. Service was consistent and attentive across the whole night and the modern interior felt inviting, although the place was slightly rowdy at times. It’s a slightly expensive choice if you’re looking for Italian food, but is not bad for a more special occasion that’s worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Question time: Do you always try your fellow diners’ food when you order your own dishes like I do?
Phone: (03) 9574 8000
540 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150