Thirty Eight Chairs
Fatbee’s Italian colleague couldn’t stop raving about this Italian restaurant in South Yarra, so it wasn’t long before we found an excuse to dine here with friends. The tiny little restaurant is named so because it literally has only 38 seats, and boy was it a busy and buzzy joint with a 6pm and an 8.30pm seating even on weekdays.
Aperol Spritz $14.5
I’m a blogger… in that I just say what I think and taste in my completely non-expert way. But that makes the discovery quite fun… and we followed Fatbee’s journey through his colleague’s descriptions of the oh-so-Italian drinks that we should try here… such as this oddly cough mixture-like fizzy Aperol Spritz!
A. Mano Rosé Prosecco (Puglia, Italy) $13
After the (very Italian) waitress took our orders, we started off nicely with a basket of deliciously made bread… alongside with a glass of Fatbee’s suggested “oh you must try a Prosecco because the Italians love that!”. I have to confess that bread quality is a big thing for me because you’re pretty much always hungry at this point of the meal before the entrees have arrived.
Italian Bufala DOC 125g $12
Wagyu bresaola, truffle pecorino, almond olive oil $22
Peppered tuna carpaccio, crispy shallots, caper vinaigrette, rocket shoots $23.5
Even if we’re not regular diners of Italian fare, the starters delighted the entire table of us. It was basically good quality produce kept simple.
Frittelle di Midollo Osseo di Maiale $16.50
Only this entree did not quite tick our boxes. It was the day’s special consisting of deep fried breads filled with marrow.
Gnocchi di patate, fresh tomato sugo, mozzerella & basil $28
I eventually convinced myself to NOT have a ribeye steak at this Italian restaurant and the entire table ended up having pasta for our mains. Here is Fatbee’s unfaultably good potato gnocchi with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
Spaghettino, pork sausage, friarelli (Neapolitan broccoli), potatoes & peppered pecorino $30
Curly pappardelle, slow cooked duck ragu, porcini, shaved pecorino $32
My other companions at the table also had lovely pasta dishes, and the whole table continued cooing out calls of “ooh it’s so goooood!”. And seriously… need I say anymore about the dishes that just that?
Tagliatelle, milk veal ragu, mixed walnuts & breadcrumbs $29.5
I decided to go adventurous with a veal pasta that’s paired with walnuts… but it was done so delicately and nicely that I ended up enjoying it too.
Cream Catalana $14.00
Again from the days specials board, we tried a cream catalan for dessert which had hints of orange in it. It was okay.
Jasmin Pannacotta $12 | Peppe’s Tiramisu $12.5
The other two desserts we tried were delightful though, in particular the light and gentle jasmine pannacotta. But that tiramisu also satisfied many of us with its confidently thick and creamy mouthfeel.
I visited Thirty Eight Chairs wanting to like the place… and guess what? The whole table ended up loving the entire meal! The only dishes that did not quite hit the mark with us that night were things from the specials board… everything else in their usual menu hit really high notes with all of us and I’m pretty keen on a revisit soon.