Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ladro in Prahran

I've never been to the Ladro on Gertrude St, although it has been on my 'to-do' list for a while. So I was quite excited when I heard that one opened on Greville St in Prahran, which is quite a regular location for me to be in.

So one lunchtime when I was in the area doing some work for Pan Asian, I sauntered in, found out they took bookings, made a booking and very eagerly awaited Sunday night to roll around. I'm honestly kind of surprised, I thought all the hip new places were 'first come first serve' policies these days...

I have to admit, when Brad and I did rock up, it was a bit quieter than I expected it to be, bustling for sure, there was a nice chatter and vibe, but after 8pm the crowd died down a fair bit, which was actually very nice, it became more intimate with the dim lighting. The space is quite open, with a few smaller tables, some higher up bar stool type seating and some communal style tables.

In comparison to the menu on Gertrude st, it's been described as 'same-same but different'. Unfortunately I can't compare, but I did like the variety. A good assortment of pizzas, a good sample of entrees and a good sprinkling of mains.

Now I am mildly gluten intolerant and would probably usually have gone for a main, but I felt it would not do justice to not try a pizza. So we ordered a few entrees and a pizza to share.

We started with the pan seared calamari, perfectly seasoned and cooked. The calamari was tender and full of flavour.

This though, was easily the better of the two entrees, although the standard is quite high! This was a Jerusalem artichoke, leek and potato bake. Ah, did someone say comfort food? The artichokes were soft, but kept their form nicely and was made rich and warming with the cheese. The portion size was just perfect as well, whilst I could've easily eaten more, it was just the right amount to be very satiated.

We're both suckers for mushrooms, so went with the mushroom, fior di latte and basil pizza. My camera did no justice in showing how big this pizza was, it was huge! We still managed to finish it all though, having a half each, I suppose our toppings weren't as heavy as of the other options at least! I loved the pizza cutter they provide with the pizza, leaving you to make your slices as big or as small as you want! When cutting the crust it had a beautiful crunch to it and was really piping hot. I would've liked a little more of the fior di latte, but when you did get slices with it, it was just lovely.

I feel like I've been skimping out on dessert lately, so I as adamant on trying at least one dessert since there were a couple of things that caught my attention. We eventually settled on trying the Camino (I think that's what it was called!). Milk ice-cream with espresso....I'm not sure what it was and montenegro. This was really interesting, I think I poured a little too much of the montenegro in and made it a bit too strong, but the texture of the espresso granules mixed with the milk ice-cream, which was fairly mild in flavour, was quite interesting. Deliciously interesting that is though!

I'm honestly quite surprised when I read the two reviews on urbanspoon that slate Ladro with terrible service, as I felt we were very well looked after. Maybe they've read the reviews and have been working on improving it! Menus were given very quickly, orders taken efficiently and professionally, water constantly being topped up even though they had the bottle on the table and dishes cleared shortly after we had stopped eating.

Maybe the new Ladro child just needs a little bit of time to smooth out a few rough edges, but I personally feel that it's on a good track, the food is great and the service for me was excellent. And for $75, including drinks, I think our meal was reasonably priced as well. So for those who are umming and aahing over whether to give it a go, I would say to give it a chance, but be open minded. Overall I really did enjoy my meal at Ladro and I hope you will too!

I noticed a few people taking pizza boxes out from the restaurant, so I also assume that takeaway is available for those who want something different to Lucky Coq!

162 Greville St
9510 2233
Ladro Prahran on Urbanspoon

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