HAVING spotted a Herald add for Numero Uno’s $15 lunch special, D’Angerous Dave and I headed there for a budget treat, but we ended up getting something else instead.
Not that the local whiting, spaghetti Napoli ragu, calamari fritti or field mushrooms weren’t appealing, but we were seduced by the pasta alle melanzane ($24) and traingoli di ricotta ($25.50).
For almost eight years I’ve been hoping to taste something as good as the aubergine pasta dish (pasta alle melanzane) I had in Capo D’orlando in Sicily, but nothing has come close.
Numero owner Guido Micalizzi hails from the Italian island and my melanzane was one of the best I’ve had, if not quite living up to my holiday memories.
The small cubes of soft eggplant had a delicious sharp/sweetness; perfectly balanced by a rich tomato sauce and chewy, almost melted bocconcini.
Dave’s pasta was filled with a creamy ricotta mix and smothered in a tomato and basil sauce.
“They were good and filling,” he sighed, mopping up the last of the sauce with a slice of the superior, in-house bread.
Feeling relaxed and at peace with the world, we ordered dessert – a chocolate panacotta ($10) for Dave and the apple tarte tatin ($10) for me.
The panacotta was smooth and creamy with a great chocolate hit, while the tart had spicy and sweet apple slices layered on a thin pastry base.
All up a terrific meal, although I do think $3.90 for a Twinings teabag in a cup of hot water (no sugar or milk) is a bit steep.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Numero Uno Cafe
93 Petra Street