Gets my vote

ELECTION fatigue is already setting in and we still have 14 toe-curling days to go.

So far we’ve had ScoMo staunchly defending his homemade chicken korma, playing songs about Cuba on his ukulele and washing a stranger’s perm in a salon.

What’s next, Anthony Albanese discovering there’s a new thing out called personality?

It’s reassuring that food – curries aside – are apolitical and we can always get hoed into our favourite tucker to forget about all the craziness in the world.

Blend Cafe in Melville has always been there for me in times of need – mostly their top notch, gut-busting brunches.

But I’ve never tried their mains, so it was time to see if they would get my preferential votes or end up being my Jacqui Lambie.

The Italian-inspired menu was a monster with a huge range of shares, mains, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and pasta.

The creamy garlic prawns, Tuscan seafood risotto and chicken casalinga all vied for my attention, but I eventually settled on the Gamberi Aglio Olio ($29).

My wife went super old-school and ordered the chicken parmigiana ($28) a dish that will no doubt be enjoyed by politicians in RSLs in the weeks to come, proving how down-to-earth and patriotic they are.

My Gamberi Aglio Olio was a decadent delight – piled high with tiger prawns, chicken, chorizo and fettuccine.

It was like a surf-and-turf pasta, and the inclusion of chorizo was a masterstroke, adding a strong salty punch to the dish.

All the ingredients were top notch and well cooked with the cherry tomatoes, onion and basil adding a flavour twist.

There was a subtle heat to the dish courtesy of some chilli, but the only thing I wasn’t keen on was the olives. I don’t like hot olives, but that’s just a personal preference.

My wife’s chicken parmi ($28) was absolutely ginormous – easily the size of any specious election pledge.

“This could easily feed two or even three people, but they haven’t skimped on quality – it’s beautiful free-range chicken topped with a rich tomato sugo and gooey mozzarella cheese,” she said.

“The beer battered chips are super crisp and tasty, and the beetroot salad is refreshing as there are lots of big flavours in there. A top parmi.”

The portions at Blend are bigger than Clive Palmer’s y-fronts and we could only manage half our dishes, so we had the rest for dinner the following night.

Across the table, my young kids, Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles, were sharing a Kokomo pizza ($24), which had Napoli sauce, mozzarella and honey glazed ham. 

It usually contains pineapple, but my kids don’t like it on their pizza. They wolfed it down no problem and I can confirm it had an authentic wood-fired base, lovely tomato sauce and fresh toppings.

Blend’s mains were as tasty and hearty as their brunch dishes, and they definitely get my vote.

Maybe Tangney Liberal MP Ben Morton will come down here to cook a spagball, paint someone’s nails at the salon next door, and then play Thunderstruck on a banjo…

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

Blend Cafe and Pizza Bar
356 Marmion Street, Melville
blendcafe.com.au

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