Gastrology recently joined the team at Mr Collins, Collins Square for a decadent lunch where we tasted the regional produce, watched pizza making demonstrations and enjoyed the many flavours of Italy.
We heard from Frank Nesci, the entrepreneur behind Mr Collins who is also behind the highly successful Healthy Habits and Fancy Fillings. While Frank is no longer involved with the day to day running of his healthy empires, he took away invaluable experience from the opening and operation of these successful franchised businesses. In addition to these successes, Frank is the innovator behind Port Melbourne’s Bay 101, Spuntino in Port Melbourne, Epping Plaza and Werribee Plaza and Zinc Café and Zinc Express at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Frank has integrated his 20 years of experience and his innate understanding of the functionality and nature of the food business into his new project, Mr Collins. While Mr Collins is licensed and boasts concise wine list offering local and international quality wines, the real focus for Frank and his team is the fresh food options, all made in house with Italian passion, on offer daily.
Left: Italy bread
Right: Cured meats and cheese board
Mr Collins' team of Pizzaioli and Chefs prepared a wonderful selection of antipasto, cured meats, pizza, handmade pasta, fresh modern salads, Sicilian wine and substantial secondi for us to try...
Right: Margherita Pizza
The bruschetta was pleasant. Thick, warm slices of toasted house made ciabatta were served with sensational toppings of tomato, basil and red onions and glistened with generous splashes of extra virgin olive oil. It was a tastebud-enlivening start to what promised to be a memorable meal.
The pizzas at Mr Collins are of particular note. The pizzas arrived picture perfect in appearance and outstanding in taste. We loved the margherita pizza - think layers of mozzarella teamed with delightfully fresh basil and juicy ripe tomatoes. Encircled with a puffy crisp crust, this pizza was superb.
Left: Tasting plate of 3 pastas: Gnocchi sorrentina; Ravioloni Burro & salvia; and Gamberi Squid ink spaghetti
As expected of any good Italian restaurant, Mr Collins is good at producing quality pasta dishes. All 3 pastas had complex and rich flavours and were cooked al dente.
Our date with Mr Collins ended on a sweet with delightful tiramisu. The tiramisu was well made, with its flavour heavily dominated by the constituent alcoholic component. It was a simple traditional dessert that was well executed and thoroughly enjoyable.
Mr Collins' menu captures a variety of pastas, authentic Italian mains and delicious antipasti made with well-sourced, fresh and organic ingredients. Every dish has something to make it different, offering gourmets and fans an excellent dining experience.