Quite a few months back, D got us a Scoopon for a 3 course meal at Sarti. Sarti is not new to me, so I was very happy when he told me about it. For those who haven't been before, Sarti is very typically Melbourne, it is tucked away in an side street off the busy main road. Once you walk in, it feels like you have found that secret spot.
As part of our 3 course I decided to start with Fritto Misto. This came on a chopping board filled with deep fried soft shelled crab, calamari, whitebait. Served with chili tartare as dipping sauce, it was a good compliment of creaminess to the fried goodies.
D got the Fiori Di Zucca which in layman terms is fried zucchini flower stuffed with buffalo mozzarella. It's a nice dish and a good option if you are vegetarian but I didn't find this to do anything I would go 'wow' about or memorable. D seemed to enjoy it but we both agreed that the Fritto Misto would be the 'go to' dish out of the 2.
For mains I went with the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra which was a squid ink pasta served with blue swimmer crab, chilli, garlic, tomato and a generous amount of roe. The thing I liked most about this dish was the roe and chilli. Roe bursting with each bite, gave it another texture and the chilli went well with the delicate, sweet taste of the crab meat.
D went with the steak which was a 200gm sirloin it came with potato puree, onion rings and kale. I wouldn't call it a bad steak but I also won't go to Sarti for steak. It was cooked well but it wasn't groundbreaking, however given the nature of the Scoopon offer, I would consider this a good value option.
For desert we got the Bombolini and Tiramisu. The Tiramisu was 5 layers consisting of hot and cold levels. I loved the strong robust coffee flavours and the warmness gave me a giddy feeling (not quite sure why, but it was definitely how I felt when I ate a big spoonful)
The Bombolini was small Italian doughnuts with a dish of warm nutella and hazelnut sprinkles. The crispy outside and fluffy inside pair beautifully with the smooth chocolate. Only downside, the doughnuts had a bit too much oil for my liking.
During the evening, we dined next to a couple from Adelaide and noticed they received excellent service compared to D and I. We ended up feeling like we got a different treatment because we were on the Scoopon deal, the host was friendly and welcoming but the waiter for our table was otherwise. This made me feel quite infuriated, as the point of a Scoopon deal is to bring awareness and attract most customers. It was not my first time at Sarti, from previous experience, coupled with the service the couple next to us received from the same waiter, it just made the evening and experience a bit disappointing.
Overall 14/20 The food was good and they have a decent selection for fine dining without the attitude (I'm talking about the atmosphere). Main let down for me was the service, however if i set that aside I would consider them a classic Melbourne modern fine dining restaurant.