Sunday, July 02, 2006

Il Fornaio, St Kilda

As I stared at my rather skimpy serve of scrambled eggs this morning, it occurred to me that the entire thing might have slipped into Jessica Rowe's mouth in one go. Maybe two. Jessica has a large mouth, you see. And an annoying laugh. So annoying that readers of the Sunday Feral Sun have dubbed her Australia's most annoying celebrity. Even worse than Daryl Somers. Even worse than Gretel Killeen. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Nine's new queen of breakfast TV, word gets out that Eddie McGuire wants to bone her.

Before you get the wrong idea, please note that "bone" apparently means sack, as in fire, terminate, etc. We're not talking about a new series of wife-swap here.

But, once again, I digress. Let me return to my skimpy plate of eggs, which was dished up this morning at Il Fornaio, 2 Acland Street, St Kilda, Tel +61 3 9534 2922. The scrambles were bland and not at all moist. The mushrooms were even more bland and boring than the eggs. We're talking the Karl Stefanovic of the mushroom world. And the soggy wad of pan-warmed bacon was similarly disappointing. About the only good thing on the plate was the toast, and yet there was only one measly slice. How cheap is that? Can someone please explain to me the logic of baking excellent bread on the premises and then short-changing your customers on toast?

Indeed, so fine is the bread, that I suggest Eddie picks up a few loaves of his way home from the footy one day. It would be perfect for the so-called shit sandwiches that Nine is apparently serving up these days. Imagine... asking someone to accept a contract worth only $400,000 a year? How could anyone swallow that?

I'm in no great hurry to go back to Il Fornaio, but if I do, I think I'll try the croque monsieur, which seems a bargain at only $5. Another good option might be the poached egg on bio-dynamic dark rye with dill mascarpone, rocket and smoked salmon. Good coffee and pastries too.

12/20 "style over substance"



Blogger Ed said...

I'm afraid I "boned" Il fornaio a while ago. The Croque Monsieur is ok in an emergency but the breakfast and the bread is overrated. Some of their cakes aren't too bad but some are really just style over substance. And the biscuits aren't too bad. Since Baker D Chirico arrived I've moved on to better bread as well.
The evening meals are quite good value at Il Formaio though but you need to know which dish to pick.

8/7/06 09:16  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Yes, I think it's now officially on my "been there, boned that" list. I had eaten brekky there once before and found it just average. Service is also hit and miss. I once walked out before ordering thanks to a waitress who seemed more pre-occupied with catching her own reflection in the window (and touching up her lip gloss) than performing lesser tasks, like taking food orders. And I totally agree with the evening meal comment. I have (some time ago) had some excellent dinners there, but was turned off by a more recent visit when a so-called rich, meaty ragout was so bland it tasted like washing up water. It was an absolute disgrace.

8/7/06 16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also suffered the ragu. I'd say avoid any pasta as well. Terrines aren't to bad and I know Jackie always orders badly there which is pretty appalling. Perhaps I'll pop next door to Azalea instead.

9/7/06 21:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree il fornaio could be a bit better; i had scrambled eggs on toast which were perfectly edible but not too memorable. The coffee was good.
The waitstaff did seem disinterested, even when i purchased a grain sourdough which i have to say was excellent! I think the bread compares well with d.chirico though quite a different style of loaf to their multigrain. Well worth the purchase.

12/7/06 13:25  

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