The hugely popular Maldini restaurant offers Italian fare with a modern twist in Hobart’s Salamanca precinct.
Patrons pay note. Maldini has been in operation for more than 20 years. They’ve built a high demand restaurant where reservations are recommended. Sure, they’re on the tourist strip but they’ve remained viable as Hobart’s food scene has skyrocketed. It goes to show they’re on to something.
Like all good Italian restaurants, the territory of the menu is marked out by starters (primi and pane); pasta and risotto; mains and sides (secondi and contorni); and dessert and what some people consider dessert – cheese (dolci and formaggi).
This Girl and various lunch friends have made it a ‘go-to’ over the last two decades because it is always dependable with delicious food and friendly and attentive service.
Over my time, I haven’t observed seismic shifts in their tried and true menu so I was pleased to find new life in the current edition. There are also a number of daily specials, one of which is always a fish dish, and that’s where Boozy Friday Lunch Friend and I played on our recent visit.
What we ate:
- Bruschetta with chargrilled chicken strips on a cherry tomato, cucumber and red onion and rocket salad with basil pesto, $21.
- Creamy tagliatelle prawns with asparagus, caramelised fennel, dill and preserved lemon, $29.50.
- Pan roasted kingfish on house-made gnocchi with caponata and salsa verde, $38.50.
I convinced Boozy or he convinced me, that we should abandon some of our mains and leave room for one of those desserts on display in their counter cabinet. Tiramisu is a classic and that’s what we chose.
Tiramisu, $15.50, layers of savoiardi sponge, Marsala, whisky and mascarpone zabaglione, espresso syrup.
Don’t fret over that bruschetta price, it was a perfect starter for two people or a stand-alone meal for those looking for something lighter; fresh, vibrant and full of flavour.
You know I love my kingfish. This one came with olives. Swipe left. Olives and I are yet to come to an understanding. Boozy loves them however and was treated to thick slab of that sweet fish which held its own in its marriage with some mighty flavours – the aforementioned olives in the Sicilian sauce of eggplant and red pepper and topped with the herbs, capers and garlic of the salsa verde.
I generally choose their prawn pasta dish and was pleased to see it feature as a special. The preserved lemons complemented the dish along with the subtle sweetness of the caramelised fennel. The dill was applied with circumspection – a herb that can really send a dish off the rails if not used prudently, and there were plenty of plump prawns.
And while all the dishes were enjoyable, I cannot tell a lie, it was the liqueur-soaked sponge which was the highlight. There was even a little excess liquid at the bottom of the glass as Boozy I scraped the last of the sweet goodness from the tumbler. They have perfected the right amount of wetness on the savoiardi which ensured a balance between form and creaminess. Inspired, I exchanged my usual Frangelico for whisky and Marsala in tiramisu I made for a Grand Final event recently. The liqueur was great but mine was too wet. I have so much to learn.
Bruno Di Tommaso and his son Dante run the restaurant which opened in 1996 and the kitchen is headed up by Alex Hodgetts.
Find them on Facebook – @MaldinitalianCafeRestaurant
For more information including a look at their menu go to their webpage – Maldini Restaurant.
They’re located at 47 Salamanca Place Hobart.
Like we said, it’s generally wise to make a reservation. Call them on (03) 6223 4460.
Heads up, they won’t split the bill on the weekend.
You can find Maldini in the Entertainment Book.
The last time I ordered the kingfish with Boozy – The Glass House Revisited.
A long time ago we blogged about Maldini.