When visitors come to Melbourne, you take them to places familiar and places new. But when cousin trouble comes to Melbourne, it works a little differently. I’m only allowed to suggest places, but she makes the final call.
That’s how we ended up here. I picked Casa Ciuccio off my wishlist, and trouble, who previously enjoyed a meal at Bar Lourinhã, said “okay!”.
I consider Casa Ciuccio a ‘tapas’ type of place, but with food served in a more Mediterranean-style.
Stavros peppers 12
Free range Lonza + caperberries 18
We took the menu out of our hands and allowed our waitress to select a good mix of dishes for us. It turned out to be a brilliant option when you have a biggish group and can’t really decide who’s going to like what.
We started off with a platter of good, free-range cured pork and a serve of nicely cooked surprise peppers.
Anchovy montadito 5ea
Tomatoes, pickled chilli + buffalo queso fresco 16
My companions enjoyed the buttery, chargrilled fingers of anchovy toast. But I found myself more drawn to the simplicity within milky fresh buffalo cheese against the acidity of heirloom tomatoes.
BBQ pork ribs 7
Not on the menu were these BBQ ribs. While on the slightly dry side, I liked the chargrilled singe and its not-too-sweet marinade. I normally avoid BBQ type dishes because the sauce tends to be quite sweet, but this was good.
Grilled octopus tentacle 21 (10 per 100g)
Northern King prawn, smoked chilli + lemon 9ea
The traditional Mediterranean-style of chargrilling became more obvious with these two seafood dishes.
While the octopus had a robust meaty chewiness that was thinking about becoming firm, the prawns were divine. Loved the charring!
Spice rubbed pork belly 45 (1.5 serves)
We were less excited by this serve of pork belly, the crackling could’ve been more crisp.
Spiced cauliflower + almonds 13
And here’s the obligatory serve of carbs and vegetables to go along with our meat and seafood dishes.
Overall, our waitress, Kim, chose a wonderful selection of savoury dishes. It made the meal flow so very well, many thanks to Kim for that!
Chocolate buñuelos + hazelnut sauce 12
Yiayia’s Kourabiedes 4ea
We next gave Daisy (aka. dessert queen) free reign with our dessert choices. While the white kourabiedes was too sweet (and dry) for my liking, I really enjoyed the buñuelos, they were like Spanish donuts with moist centres infused with banana chocolate.
Marinated watermelon 8
Dulce de leche cream pot + peanut praline 12
The marinated watermelon surprised us with a revitalising yet mellow infusion of star anise sugar syrup. But Daisy’s favourite dessert of the night would have to be the cream pot of dulce de leche. To my surprise, I loved it too… it was creamy yet not too sweet with a good crunch of caramelised sugar.
Overall, it was a nice convivial evening with good company, good food and food service. Special thanks to our waitress, Kim, who took care of our table very well. She queued the flow of our dishes seamlessly.
Keep a look out for more cousin trouble food posts in the coming weeks. And if you’re curious about where else trouble has been to, check out my teaser post titled ‘Trouble in Melbourne‘.