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.