Restaurant Review: Mondo Organics

Middle of the week.  Nothing in the fridge.  Lazy and hungry.  We should have done the sensible thing and gone to the supermarket.  But no, we wandered up to Hardgrave Road to see what in the way of restaurants could satisfy our grumbling tummies.  We should have picked something cheap and cheerful.  But no, we spied the sleek blue-grey walls, rustic timber beams and fresh white table cloths of Mondo Organics and decided, for no particular reason whatsoever, to treat ourselves.

We were glad we did.  Euro-Australian style using all organic produce, it was one of the nicest meals we’ve had in ages.

It was tough to choose a dish as everything on the menu sounded so enticing.  I eventually settled on the fish of the day (snapper) despite the fact it was served with Brussels sprouts (?!).  Patrick went for the lamb.

Complementary spelt sourdough bread and a bowl of wild Australian olives promptly arrived at the table.  The olives were tiny in size but very tasty and the oil they were sitting in was divine.  Patrick declared it “the best olive oil he’s had since that place in France”.  That place in France (I’ll have to check the name with him) was “the best olive oil he’s ever had in his life”.  Good start Mondo!

On to the mains – Patrick’s lamb rack was a perfect medium rare and came with a delicious smoky aubergine (eggplant) accompaniment, among other things.  To be honest, I didn’t pay too much attention to his as I was too engrossed with my own.  The snapper was pan-fried to golden brown, fresh and piping hot.  It came with “pea and ricotta pillows” – homemade raviolis with a generous, creamy, bright green and extremely flavoursome pea filling.  The Brussels sprouts, which I had been concerned about, were nothing like your Mammy would serve at Christmas.  They had been broken into individual leaves and coated with a creamy sauce cut through with little bits of preserved lemon for zing.  Time consuming preparation I imagine but it totally avoided that strong, bitter flavour you get when you bite into a whole one.  The dish was finished with some roasted cherry tomatoes which worked well flavour-wise and also added a bit of colour to what was otherwise quite a green dish.

We didn’t have any dessert.  It was a Wednesday remember?  We were already being naughty!  On the beverage front I enjoyed an organic cloudy apple juice while Patrick was pleased with his Moa beer and a glass of house red.  We also ordered a side dish of green beans and silver beet topped with hazelnuts.  The bill came to $116.

Neither myself nor Patrick are overly bothered about whether or not our food is organic, but Mondo’s emphasis on that assures a real concern for the quality and source of the produce they use, and that really comes across in the flavour of the food.

It’s so nice discovering new places in a new neighbourhood and Mondo Organics is definitely somewhere we’ll return.  Their weekend breakfast menu looks delicious.  They also run a cooking school.  Patrick has his eye on the Austrian Strudel class next month.  I know – I’m a lucky girl.


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