Dining Out: Di Palma’s, Hawthorn

by April@MyFoodTrail on October 3, 2009

in BYO Place, Dining Out, Hawthorn, Italian

Di Palma’s Restaurant
779 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC
(03) 9819 2900

Cuisine: Italian
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! 🙂

Crispy skinned pork belly $10.50

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.

Twice baked goat cheese soufflé with red wine poached pear & rocket salad $17.50

Inside the souffle

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.

Specials menu – Risotto with blue cheese & crispy pancetta $16.50

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.

Salsiccia pizza – tomato, mozzarella, homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms and caramelised onions $19.50 (large)

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*

Can you be fined for parking like that?!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

Di Palma's on Urbanspoon

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie October 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm

ROFL!! I'm still giggling at the photo of the parking!!

This place sounds craaaaap!! I don't think I'll be visiting it anytime soon. The souffle looks like a bread roll..probably hence the floury taste 😛


Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 4, 2009 at 12:38 am

Floury soufflé? Perhaps they should have thrice baked it 😉

It all sounds pretty ordinary, but at least your photos all look good!


Sarah October 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Buahahaa at the parking!!!

I haven't been to DiPalma's, but I'm not keen after reading your review. I do love Siew Yoke too!

xox Sarah


cruxiefaye October 4, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I wonder how the driver passed his driving test in the first place.

The risotto makes me really hungry now.


Rilsta October 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

Hi Shellie: LOL, I just had to take a photo of the parking! The food here looks good, but unfortunately did not impress me.

Hi Conor: Thanks! The souffle still looked pretty pale so I don't think the two times it was cooked, it was for very long!!

Hi Sarah: Haha, I still laugh when I see the photo! Maybe the one in Kew might be better!

Hi cruxiefaye: I think the food is only good to look at! 🙂


Cherry Blossom Cupcakes October 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

That parking looks like it's in Italy! Where I'm from they even back their cars up a flight of stairs and park them there LOL!


penny aka jeroxie October 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Is that person drunk? The parking is pretty bad! And hear hear about eating out too much. Need to cut down too. Want to save for holidays!


Rilsta October 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Hi Cherry Blossom Cupcakes: LOL! Are you serious?! Maybe this guy thought he was still in Italy! 🙂

Hi Penny: Maybe he was drunk! Yeah, spending on eating out can add up to be a lot. It's okay if you don't spend much on other stuff, but if you are trying to save for a holiday…!


Esz October 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

LOL that parking is terrible! I Think there is a blog where you can send such bad examples to for all the world to see. 😀

As for the restaurant…I think there are far too many of these types around – not particularly awful but on the bad side of average and you wonder why they get so many people in?


Rilsta October 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hi Esz: I think nowadays there is a website for practically everything! 🙂 Yeah, I agree – there are so many restaurants out there, I think if a restaurant can't be excellent, there is no point returning.


Anonymous July 29, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I enjoyed your comments and photos. My experience at Di Palma's in Kew was even worse than yours. After a very ordinary meal I produced my "Entertainment" card in order to get a discount and the waitress started to argue with me about the amount of the discount. When I questioned the amount she said that the restaurant didn't like being on the card anyway. I couldn't believe her attitude and the way she spoke to me.
Please, anyone reading this- NEVER go there, it's over priced and the staff are incredibly rude.


April @ My Food Trail August 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Anonymous: Sorry to hear about your bad experience.


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