Di Palma’s Restaurant
779 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC
(03) 9819 2900
BYO: Yes, $8 per bottle
Prices: Starters $5.50-$12.50, entrées $12.50-$18.50, pizzas $8.50-$20.50, pasta & risottos $23.50-$25.50, mains $27.50-$34.50
Parking: Along Glenferrie Road
Hubby and I have tried to cut our eating out to one night a week, no more than two and 99% of the time, it is on the weekend. If we go out on a Friday night, we’d prefer not to travel far for our dinner so we tend to end up somewhere local. Whenever I ask hubby where he wants to go, he always says Di Palma’s and I always say no. The past two times we have gone to Di Palma’s I didn’t think much of the food, but hubby enjoyed it and has been wanting to go back.
One Friday night, I gave in so off to Di Palma’s we went. The Di Palma’s in Hawthorn is on Glenferrie Road, between Burwood & Barkers Road. There is a second (original) branch on High Street in East Kew but we have always been to the Hawthorn one. The restaurant looks quite small from the outside, but there is a back area and another level upstairs. They normally get very busy on a Friday night, but we managed to get a table without a booking.
There is a good selection of dishes under each category of starter, entreé, pizzas, pastas and risottos and mains. Hubby and I decided on a starter, an entreé (what is the difference anyway?!), a risotto and a pizza.
The crispy skinned belly pork came from the starter menu. We were expecting a melt in the mouth piece of belly pork, but instead it tasted like the Chinese roast pork (siew yoke) you get at a Chinese restaurant. The skin was crispy and the pork was tasty but I couldn’t help thinking if I wanted Chinese roast pork, I would have gone to Victoria St and gotten a whole dish of it for about the same price as a small slice here! Well, it did come with salad and apple sauce which you don’t get on Victoria St!
Our entreé was the twice baked goat cheese soufflé with red wine poached pear and rocket salad. The soufflé was light but had a floury taste, like when you don’t cook flour for long enough. I could barely taste the goat’s cheese which was a disappointment.
We ordered the risotto off the specials menu, which came with blue cheese and crispy pancetta. The risotto was on the watery side and tasted more like normal white rice, rather than the starchy arborio rice. I really liked the crispy pancetta, but again I could barely taste the blue cheese.
The last dish to come was the salsiccia pizza which had tomato, mozzarella, homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms and caramelised onions. All pizzas came in a small or large size and we went with the large size. The pizzas are all cooked in a large woodfire oven. The pizza had a lot of mushrooms but hardly any sausage and the dough was a bit soggy in the middle.
Overall: Di Palma’s is crowded every time we have driven past so quite a number of people must think it is good. Even our neighbours like it, so maybe we chose the wrong dishes or we have different tastes. There was nothing really wrong with the food, I just found it average and not good enough to attract me back.
The best dish was the risotto and the least favourite dish was the soufflé.
Would I return? No, not particularly and I don’t think hubby will be bugging me to go anymore!
On the way back to the car, I just had to a take a photo of this person’s atrocious parking skills. *shakes head*
Over & Out, Rilsta xx