Zara’s Kitchen is a Northern gem of Moonee Ponds – a wholesome family-run Italian restaurant named after the owners’ daughter, Zara, serving up hearty Italian food that is not only incredibly delicious, but also affordable and fresh. Located near Italian hubs of Melbourne, Zara’s Kitchen is THE definition of a family restaurant that delivers hard competition to the nearby Lygon Street Italian venues of the Melbourne northside. Melbourne has perhaps one of the strongest Italian food scenes in the world, so any Italian restaurant has tough competition!
The good fat: A perfect way to start any Italian meal is an antipasto platter – Zara’s Kitchen had a selection of pickled eggplant, pumpkin and capsicum offering a zesty combo to the traditional cured meats like prosciutto. Special shout out to their toasty home made bread, baked straight out of the oven every morning at 5am!
Seafood linguine is always my go-to pasta option, and having heard that it was by far their house favourite at Zara’s Kitchen, picking this was no hard task. The linguine was a delightful al dente, topped with generous serving of prawns and fish, complemented by a tangy chilli kick. The lamb ragu pappardelle tore away gently into small chunks, a testament to a perfect slow-cooking. The gourmet prosciutto pizza with tomatoes and bocconcini leaped out at me and we weren’t disappointed – charred and crispy thin wood-fired crust with a light tomato base!
Wow the sticky date pudding was an incredible end to our meal – by far one of the most well-balanced sticky date puddings I’ve had. It captured a refined balance between the fruitiness of dates without being overpoweringly sweet, the moist warmth, and a light custard underneath to undercut any heaviness. A stunning dessert!
Overall, Zara’s Kitchen is very much the family-styled Italian restaurant that doesn’t sacrifice price for quality and authenticity, making it a great choice for regular dining, especially those in the Moonee Ponds/Brunswick area of Melbourne.
The bad fat: Some elements in the antipasto platter were slightly underwhelming, for example the cheese tasted quite grocery store – bought. The pappardelle itself was slightly undercooked, being a bit too hard, and would’ve benefited from an extra minute in the pasta pot.
CHECK OUT ZARA’S KITCHEN MOONEE POND WEBSITE HERE: http://www.zaraskitchen.com.au/
2wofatgirls would like to thank Zara’s Kitchen Moonee Ponds for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.