Friday, March 18, 2011

Review : Gelbison at Leichhardt - Now CASA MESSINA

116 Marion Street

Open 7 nights

While we could 
happily eat in 'fine diners' on a regular basis (money permitting), we sometimes get a hankering for a spot of 'cheap & cheerful'. This might be Indian, Chinese or as it happens tonight....Italian.

With that in mind we take ourselves off to Leichhardt to see if Gelbison is cheap & cheerful enough to satisfy our craving.
As soon as we spot the faded green, white & red awning, we know we are in for a treat.

Inside, the room still has the look & feel of a 1980's local Italian, in the same vein as Luigi's from 'Ashes to Ashes', but nowhere near as dim & atmospheric and (sadly) minus Gene Hunt.

The menu is pretty much still in 1980's land as well, and includes perennial favourites such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna & Cannelloni, along with Veal Scaloppine, Parmigiana etc.
This is, of course, exactly what we are after.....

The Fried Calamari ($17.90) that starts Buggles' meal, is not bad, but frankly, not great. The calamari is cooked well (not chewy or rubbery), but the batter is quite soggy & has soaked up quite a bit of oil. It is also served with a sauce of unknown origin & bizarre flavour.

My Antipasto Casalingo ($15.90) isn't too bad; a fairly large selection of cheese, olives, prosciutto, salami and giardiniera (pickled vegetables). The cuts of meat are fresh & tasty & it is served with warm crusty bread.

The 'Spag Bol' ($15.90) is pretty good, the pasta perfectly 'al dente' & the sauce rich, meaty & abundant.

Gnocchi with a rich & luscious gorgonzola sauce ($18.90), contains just the right amount of blue cheese...not overpowering at all, but very present. The potato pillows are soft & airy and literally dissolve in the mouth.

At this stage we are pretty well stuffed and can't contemplate tackling a tiramisu or creme brulee.

Buggles settles on an affogato ($6.50) filled with creamy vanilla ice cream, while I decide on 3 scoops of fairly decently flavoured gelato ($7.50).

So I guess in terms of 'cheap & cheerful', Gelbison does tick all the boxes.
Will we return? Maybe.

Gelbison on Urbanspoon


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

I love a good spag bol! Alas most of the ones I've tried dining out has been inferior to my own, and I can barely boil an egg! LOL. Dunno about the faded red and green awning being a harbinger of a treat though! :-)

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Mbalin said...

Is Gelbison closed? I drove pass last night and its called Casa Messina.. It looks like the awning is going too.. and the 1908's look inside gone too.. new canvases and tablecloths.. anyone knows?

Buggles and Squeak said...

@Mbalin... Not sure... could be a shame though... a bit of old 80s style italian is just what you need occasionally.