• Centonove (Kew)

If I were to imagine a luxurious retirement, Centonove would come to mind.  Perhaps it’s the undeniable stuffy ambience upon entering, or the clientele, but somehow I felt that for many – this is what success looks like.  We were there for my brother’s birthday dinner.  As a very dapper young gent himself, the milieu fitted him as well as his new designer cut threads.

To make the occasion even more special, we brought a bottle of 1998 Penfolds Bin 707 cabernet sauvignon.  We were in for a fine evening.  It held a beautiful bouquet of roasted chestnuts which opened to burnt toffee.  Its hue was dark red with only a slight crust on the bottle.  Soft tannins remained despite being aged for fifteen years and could have even been good for another couple of years.  It was herbed on the end with a delightful hazelnut finish, a delicious wine.  Unfortunately the wine did not match my meal well, and was at its best before eating.

For food, we opted for the set menu, which can be evolved for vegetarians.  Mine was to include caprese salad, figs, gnocchi and vanilla panna cotta.  The salad consisted of fresh tomatoes (which were sweet and flavoursome), balsamic, baby basil leaves and slices of moist buffalo mozzarella.  It was a refreshing start to the meal.  The wine softened with metallic overtones.

The figs were served with goats’ cheese, honey and mustard seeds.  The cheese was whipped and overall the dish resembled dessert except for the bitter red salad leaves, which tasted out of place.  The figs were ripe, but not oozing as I love them most.  The wine became bitter and salty.

After two cold dishes to begin, the potato gnocchi was warmly welcomed.  30 year aged balsamic was the star child of this one with a sauce of butter, parmigiano, parsley and lots of garlic.  The gnocchi was soft with the slithers of cheese being the hardest texture of the dish.  It was interesting combining the flavours of the garlic, salty butter, sweet balsamic and then slices of parmesan.  The wine was still too savoury against this dish, and I decided it would have gone best with a tomato based pasta.

The vanilla panna cotta was served with crostini and caramel toffee.  It was lusciously rich and creamy.

The dishes all highlighted an interesting juxtaposition of flavours.  The service was professional and personable.  The table clothes were white and formal.  It was a good choice of location for a celebratory meal.

109 Cotham Rd
Kew 3101
03 9817 6468

Centonove on Urbanspoon


  1. The gnocchi looks delicious! Hand made gnocchi is such a thing of beauty. Pity about the poor wine pairing, it really makes such a difference.

  2. Thanks for your comments Lily. Great blog you have there by the way.

    I love gnocchi. I love making it myself too, but it does take a very long time. I find wine rarely matches vegetarian food well. I was so impressed with a sommelier at Morris Jones recently who was the first person I'd met who properly tried to match wine with my meal. http://nouveaupotato.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/morris-jones-chapel-street-windsor.html But this was a case of use bringing a bottle ourselves and then not ordering food to match the wine, so I couldn't complain. Plus both were delicious :)

  3. An expensive meal this unappetizing? Promised service, noisy venue, budget ingredients, set menu to clear out the fridge. Passing off yesterdays potatoes reheated, entire meal very disappointing, left it all on the plate. Coffee cold, vinegary wine, waiters very nice but did not take a second look at it all going back and they over-charged, didn't ask if they could remedy the situation, arrogance gone too far. Rating @ 2/10. Recommend in their interest to eat at Fiorelli in Camberwell as a bench-mark, they do the same menu 10/10, never disappoints. Hope they take a page out of their book and embrace the honest feedback.

  4. Sorry to see you had a bad time there. I've been to Centonove again since this post and enjoyed the atmosphere downstairs on a Friday night. I actually think the set menu is good value if you are there for an occasion. But perhaps I am served different food to the others, being vegetarian.