“L’altro mondo” is an Italian phrase that translates literally to “another world”. Our recent visit to l’altro mondo suggests that it is a highly appropriate name for the restaurant. It is a name that evokes memories of the warm familial atmosphere, of the excellence of its cuisine and together with a touch of magic, the ability to transport patrons to another culinary world.
Domenico De Marco and his partner Elyse Woodward-Brown quietly opened this Italian restaurant at 125 Victoria Avenue Albert Park in September 2014. Together, they manage a committed team intent on achieving exceptional things.
Having just recently turned 30, Domenico has an impressive resume including a slew of one star Michelin Italian restaurants including Il Povero Diavolo (Torriana), Ristorante L‘erbe del re (Modena) and at the Four Seasons Hotel (Florence). In Australia, Domenico has worked with renowned chefs such as Luke Mangan and Neil Perry at the Rockpool Group.
Patrons can opt for the degustation or a la carte menus which feature Domenico’s ‘contemporary cuisine with an Italian influence’ boasting dishes with clear lineage and subtle, yet sometimes surprising flavour combinations.
An Italian aperitivo with house made bread
Pursuing a clean taste and a purist in terms of using produce of the utmost quality, Chef Domenico cures all his own meats and bakes his bread daily. We loved the delicious selection of aperitivo with his outstanding bread.
Onion pie, rhubarb, fennel and orange salad
Crumbly pastry encased beautifully caramelised onions. The accompanying fennel salad was nicely sweetened by slices of orange to dull the customary sharp aniseed note and provided a pleasant counterpoint to the very sweet spiced jus adorning the pie.
House cured rainbow trout, radicchio, and ginger dressing
A delightfully fresh dish of house cured rainbow trout, radicchio, ginger dressing was lovely.
The soft texture of the trout contrasted nicely with the crispness of the radicchio while the ginger dressing provided a light heat which cut through the saltiness of the umami laden dish. It was a dish of subtle, but balanced, and well considered textures and flavours.
Ricotta and winter green filled ravioli, lemon butter herb sauce
The ravioli was exceptional. The filling of deliciously savoury and melt in your mouth ricotta and winter greens was encased in al dente pasta. The accompanying lemon butter herb sauce made this a perfectly executed and expertly balanced dish.
Slow braised beef brisket in an Asian stock, kale puree, liquorice jus, and beetroot
The slow braised beef brisket was decadent and flavoursome. Incredibly tender, it fell away easily with the weight of our forks. Coated with an earthy braising sauce, the dish was very enjoyable to consume with the luxurious kale puree and liquorice jus which captivated with its delightfully aroma.
A pre-dessert of frozen cappuccino delighted with its playful interpretation.
Continuing the trend for the evening, the dessert a delicious interplay between interesting textures, flavours and seductive aromas. The layer of gritty sweet polenta was delicately thin and crisp and paired beautifully with the mellow and luxurious saffron mousse and marzipan. The salted macadamia brought an added textural element and just a touch of salinity while the tartness of the yoghurt produced a balanced dessert.
At l’altro mondo it is all about the food and Domenico’s passion that underlies it. Whether you are an Italian traditionalist or prefer to swerve off the autostrada into culinary roads less travelled, make sure you make l’altro mondo a destination for your next food adventure.