Bicicletta had been getting some rave reviews, and when searching for a place to dine for in the dying days of 2012, it jumped to mind.
Bicicletta (remembering i has an ‘ee’ sound in Italian) is proudly located in the historic Diamant Hotel in the New Acton precinct, with has a significant history of its own. On first impressions the restaurant appeared buried in the back of the hotel, but in a way it makes it even more appealing – strolling through the beautiful dark interior into the light of Bicicletta is akin to striking gold.
Light manages to fill the restaurant, with a small courtyard to the rear. The decor is a joy to the senses, with plenty to take in: happy companions and conversation from each table, and lots to look at.
Lights on one wall protrude from a set of water taps, and there appear to be original tiling and marks on the walls. Brown paper was our tablecloth, which was a no fuss solution to quickly absorbing any wine spills.
The lunch menu has a selection of tempting pizzas and pastas, but on handing us our menus our waiter politely informed us that there was a very, very long wait on the pizzas due to the large amount of groups dining. This was no matter, because what had captured our attention was the Bicicletta Gourmet Burger – the three of us each ordered it. The bottle of wine we originally selected was as available as the pizzas, and so we settled on the Bicicletta Merlot (from South Australia).
The wine was the perfect accompaniment to our enormous open gourmet burgers (you could either choose to eat it open or try to close the burger and fit it into your mouth). The ground beef and sirloin pattie was flavoursome and moist, the speck was thick, the tomato and beetroot were fresh, and the swiss cheese matched it all beautifully. But what really brought the burger together was a delectable mustard sauce. I’m not sure what the secret is, but Bicicletta is worth going back just to try more of that mustard sauce.
The meal was simply huge and quite an effort to eat – I was literally sweating by the end. The desserts called to us, but being quite full, we agreed to split a dessert tasting plate between us to enjoy just a few bites of each. Simply: the semifreddo was a winner, the tiramisu seemed almost a little too wet (is that possible?) and the panna cotta, while delicious, just didn’t stand up to the memorable semifreddo.
Throughout the meal, the ambient noise remained at a level so that it was easy to conduct a conversation amongst ourselves which is a huge plus. It’s just as easy to people watch, or relax in the surroundings. All in all, it’s a great place for lunch, and is well deserving of the hype.
Date: Thursday, 20 December 2012
Attendees: T1 and Friends
Cost: $45 ($15 x 3 gourmet burgers) + $30-35 (one bottle of house wine) + ~$25 (dessert tasting plate)
Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile
Want more? http://bicicletta.com.au/menu/