THIRTY EIGHT CHAIRS: A relatively underrated Italian restaurant in South Yarra near Chapel Street, our dinner at Thirty-Eight Chairs was a mixture of amazing flavours to a killer dessert, only to be let down by the moody pasta and inattentive service. The interior is very dark and cosy, perfect for a chilly winter in a small group or for date night! The waiters are efficient in their water pouring but everything else stops about here. You pay for the food, but you also pay for the service. From taking the wrong order down, to rushing out our fixed order, messing up the price on our bill, forgetting our change and not mentioning the price of the bread, the waiters were incompetent and unhappy to hear any complaints/comments from us.
Linguine ai Frutti di Mare (Linguine, tomato base seafood vellutata, crab meat, prawns, orange zest, breadcrumb sauce, garlic, chilli) – $33.0
The good fat: Best pasta I’ve ever had! The chilli and orange zest infused in the flavours of the sauce gave it not only a tangy, citric subtlety but also a very tasty chilli kick that blended in with the seafood. The tomatos were fresh and juicy, the mussels were tender and being drenched in that delicious, creamy sauce was compelling to the tongue! The linguine was also very soft and silky.
The bad fat: There was only one prawn that was slightly overcooked and in general a bit more crab meat to balance the classic shellfish taste from the mussels would’ve been nice.
Spaghetti al Ragu Napoletano (Spaghetti, pork, beef and veal minced ragu, napoli sauce) – $29.5
The good fat: Once again, the sauce was the highlight of the dish. Everything about it just somehow amalgamated together to create a lovely union of flavours. This one had a much more liquid texture and stronger acidity from the tomatoes, with overall quite similar to standard bolognese (as it was napoli sauce) so it wasn’t as amazing as the seafood linguine. The ragu with a trio of meats were tender and flavoursome.
The bad fat: The spaghetti in this was atrocious. They had mistaken our order for this dish and despite it usually coming out after about 20 minutes, this pasta came out in around 5 minutes and was definitely undercooked. It was tough and chewy… indicating a manner of service that a place like this should most definitely not be. It would even be more commonplace to offer the meal complimentary after mixing up the order.
Lobster Tortellini (Chef’s Special) – $40.0
My friend ordered this dish on the Chef’s special, jam packed with lobster inside with tender pieces over the top. I don’t have the specific description for this but have to give this a shout out because IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! ❤ The portion size appeared very small but apparently ithe tortellini was jam packed with filling and so it was a decent meal. Everything about it gave a spectacular combination of natural lobster with sweet undertones, supplemented by the spinach tortellini and creamy sauce. Quite pricey but it is for lobster…
Peppe’s Tiramisu (Mascarpone, Creamy Chocolate, Homemade Savioardo Biscuit) – $15.5
The good fat: I am absolutely in love this dessert! The mascarpone at the top dusted with cocoa powder was amazingly soft and creamy with a speckle of chocolate-ness from the top. Slowly pressing through the mascarpone, you hit the Savioardo biscuit underneath – it was soft, crumbly and the coffee flavour was a perfect balance with the subtle sweetness of the cheese. The portions of the mascarpone and biscuit were perfect to accentuate the tiramisu.
The bad fat: For $15.5, the size of the tiramisu is definitely underwhelming at first, but after eating it through, the cheese did make it somewhat filling. But definitely disappointed with the overall shallowness of the dessert in the glass.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – Bit pricey but it’s a must-go for authentic, delicious Italian flavours, only unfortunately marred by the rude attitude of the waiters