Monday, 30 November 2015

The Gnocchi Will 'Gnoch' Your Socks Off

To celebrate the end of semester and the end of exams, the three of us went out for lunch to Cantina 663 on Beaufort Street. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Cantina has what I think is one of the best aspects about a cafe, an all day menu. The menu runs until 3pm, and has a great selection of breakfast items as well as heartier brunch/lunch dishes. The menu then changes for dinner service, which I'm also dying to try out. Cantina is perfect for a special lunch or celebration, it's more on the pricier side, but the food, service and atmosphere makes up for it.

Pan fried gnocchi: $29.00
The gnocchi is amazing. Cantina is known for their gnocchi, they even have gnocchi making classes to prove how good they are! Although more on the pricey side, the gnocchi with charred buttery onions, pea puree, sprouts, parmesan crisps and a soft cheese that I can't recall was worth every cent. The gnocchi was cooked to perfection, soft and pillowy, it held it shape and was so delicious. The onions were rich and buttery, and they practically melted in my mouth. Some of the onion rings were tougher than others, although this was a welcome change as it added a different texture to the dish. The parmesan crisps and the pea puree cut through the dish with it's saltiness and freshness respectively, to the otherwise heavy dish. Although the dish was quite heavy (this would be even more amazing on a cold winter night), the gnocchi was so easy to eat. If you ever decided to go to Cantina, I strongly suggest the pan-fried gnocchi.

 Breakfast pavlova: $15.00
The breakfast pavlova was a treat to look at with it's vibrant fresh colours. The pavlova was crispy and airy on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside and super sweet. Although the pavlova was more of a dessert rather than a substantial meal, this dish is perfect if you want to quell your sugar cravings. I really enjoyed the dehydrated mandarins, it was so interesting, it had a subtle mandarin flavour towards the end, and the texture was a mix of hollowness and crunch. I also absolutely loved the subtle hint of lavender in the blueberry compote. The use of lavender is usually quite rare but the application of such a unique flavour was well done in the dish.

Avocado bruschetta: $16.50
The avocado bruschetta with quark cheese, crispy kale, sweet pickled lemon and poached egg was also so satisfying and delicious. The avocado was spiked with hints of cumin which made the dish take on a more Middle Eastern vibe. The egg was poached beautifully and the bread was thick and crusty. The pickled lemon didn't have much punch as I thought it would, it was more subtle amongst the other flavours in the dish. The quark cheese which is similar to cottage cheese was light and didn't overtake the dish with creamy heaviness, rather it really complemented the overall dish. The addition of crispy kale added an earthy flavour to the dish which I really enjoyed. Everything was just fantastic; the food, the pear cider and coffees, the service and atmosphere, everything was so pleasant.
Cantina 663 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato