• Cicciolina (Acland Street, St Kilda)

After however many years I had lived in Melbourne, I had never been to Cicciolina.  I had tried.  I had even spoken to the staff and tried to queue (the policy is for no bookings).  But it was no use.  It was always too full.  I was always too hungry.

That was until last week.

Strolling through the lovely streets of St Kilda one evening, we pondered what to have for dinner and seeing a table right outside in the barmy evening air, I knew it must have been fate.

For those non-Melbournians among us, Ciccionlina is an institution.  And it has been this way since chef Virginia Remond opened it 20 years ago.  With the same name as the Italian porn star, I had imagined being seduced by tomatoes, salt and olive oil.  How deliciously wicked.

Instead, I ordered the vegetarian pasta that had been a special for lunch that day (there were no vegetarian pastas on the main menu).  We also had chips and salad to share.

The pasta was a spaghettini with wilted spinach, chilli and mounds of garlic.  It was simple.  I could have made it at home.  But as it turned out I had never thought of the combination and was glad they had because the flavours were delicious.

All this went very well with my Mountain Goat Organic Steam Ale – my favourite beer, only to be compared with Belgium’s Delirium Tremens, which I tried for the first time on my trip to Belgium last year.

The chips were crunchy and as always I heavily salted them.

The salad was...well a standard salad of rocket and parmigiano.

I felt like I was finally part of a trend that I could only be too late to follow.  Oh well, I have done it now.  It was good.  I wonder when fate will next bring a table at Cicciolina my way.

130 Acland St
St Kilda 3182
03 9525 3333

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