Molto Italian has just opened at Kingston Foreshore. We got down and checked it out. Here are five things we found...
The opening of a number of businesses on the ground floor of the Element building has certainly ramped the hospitality factor up at Kingston Foreshore since Christmas. This week was no different with the opening of Molto Italian on Wednesday. On first impressions, Molto feels like it really belongs in this waterside location and that it knows what it wants to be. The space is inviting, with the right combination of casual cool and modernity sure to appeal to Canberrans looking for a sophisticated take on Italian with a grownup attitude. As for the people and the food, here are five things to take away:
1.Carlo Tosolini is running the show at Molto Italian
When Tosolini’s closed down last year, a Canberra institution ceased to exist. Owner Carlo Tosolini took a few months off to think about what he wanted to do next, while dabbling in front of house duties at the Italo Club’s Tosolini’s Pop-Up. At the same time, the Molto people–well acquainted with Carlo–saw an opportunity to bring him on board to manage their establishment, and to give him creative license to do his thing according to his passion and love. The end result is Molto as we see it today, benefitting from Carlo’s 29 years of hospitality experience and that ingredient that he personally calls ‘passione!’
2. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is served straight out of a pecorino wheel at Molto Italian
Forget Mac & Cheese, this is the way the Italians do it; and once you’ve tried this, you’ll wonder what you ever saw in its lame American cousin. Cacio e Pepe translates as ‘cheese and pepper,’ and that is almost all there is to this classic Italian dish. Oh, except that it is brought to your table in a giant pecorino wheel, swirled until the cheese starts to melt and coat the pasta, then served in all its creamy cheesy goodness. If this cheesy delight is not to your liking and you wish to check out the other house-made pasta offers, here’s a tip: House made ravioli with spinach and ricotta in burnt butter and sage.
3.The kitchen team at Molto Italian is straight outta Italy
If you are looking for authenticity, then this team is ready to deliver. The kitchen is run by Sicilian born Giuseppe Dominico. Moving to Australia around five years ago, Giuseppe worked in a couple of notable Italian restaurants in Sydney before coming to Canberra to take up a position in Braddon’s acclaimed Italian & Sons. Now at the helm at Molto, he runs the pans while overseeing a team of both Roman and Neapolitan ‘pizzaioli’ who live and breathe pizza tradition. Conventional wisdom tells us the Neapolitans are the kings of pizza, but Roman pizzaiolo Giordano may have something to say about that. One wonders if there will be a ‘state of origin’ type rivalry…
4. The Bistecca Fiorentina at Molto Italian is as authentic as you will get
A Bistecca Fiorentina is basically Tuscany’s version of a T-bone steak; but there are some rules to follow to get it right. The first is that the steak is cut ‘three fingers wide.’ The second is that it is cooked rare and then sat on its ‘T’ to rest. The third is that it is drizzled with olive oil when it gets plated and the fourth is that the beef is from Italy’s ancient Chianina breed of cattle (The Molto people have secured supply of Chianina beef from a Gippsland producer). Be on notice that this is a big steak–it comes in one kilo or 600 grams, and is cut into slices prior to serving to make it easy to share.
5. The choice of mains at Molto Italian changes daily
While Molto offers a dozen stuzzichini starters, 10 type of wood-fired pizzas and six pasta or risotti on any given day or night, it only offers one type of main meal (secondi) for each day of the week. Monday is veal, Tuesday is chicken, Wednesday is pork, Thursday is lamb, Friday and Saturday are the mighty Bistecca Fiorentina as well as a pesce del giorno (fish of the day). As for Sunday, it gets risotto and gnocchi. Some may find this restrictive, but it ensures freshness of ingredient and undistracted care; and the Molto people tell me that’s how it’s done in Italy. Who am I to argue? As they say, when at Molto…
Molto Italian is now open at Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore
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