Where: 95 Toorak Road South Yarra
When: Tues-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner, Monday: Dinner, Sunday: Closed
Contact: (03) 9866 5975
Payment: CC and EFTPOS
Da Noi in South Yarra is intimate high-end dining. The petite front room is small and white with restrained flourishes of tasteful art and cheery yellow light shades. The menu arrives as a handwritten piece of paper on a glass clipboard. Not that you’ll need to read it; the staff are extremely proficient in reciting the menu for the day. If you’re here for lunch, you can take advantage of the $35 special (two courses and a glass of wine). While you can’t strictly order off the ala carte menu for this, the waiter was incredibly flexible with our order and organised a few swap-arounds to suit our tastes.
The lunch special starts with an antipasto selection, and of course, fantastic bread too. We had a salmon risotto, pickled vegetables with tender pieces of ever-so-mild fried fish, marinated peppers and char-grilled eggplant. To wash it all down we used our wine credit to order a bitter-orange aperitif with prosecco and Campari. It is near impossible to flaw any of these items, unless you wanted something hot for lunch, in which case the lunch special isn’t for you.
Bitter Orange Aperitif
Next we were treated to barely-deep-fried zucchini flowers stuffed with roasted mozzarella. Crispy on the outside, the flowers came to pieces as we bit into them, their warm creamy filling escaping. Accompanying this were char-grilled pieces of zucchini lightly sprinkled with parmesan and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Mozzarella-stuffed zucchini flowers
For the main we had a gnocchi dish, in a sophisticated rabbit sauce. The gnocchi pieces were clearly handmade and so delicate they practically melted in the mouth. Amongst the sweetness of diced carrot lay soft pieces of rabbit shoulder in an olive oil sauce, granulated with fresh parmesan. It was both rich and mild, and very satisfying. By the end of the meal, we felt gooey and full, and that’s always a good sign. We finished off with a coffee; a lovely blend, although I forgot to check what it was.
Da Noi is a quality restaurant, where staff are absolutely committed to creating an enjoyable experience for you. It is best to arrive without knowing what you want, and allowing yourself to be suggestible to whatever is there on the day, relax and eat up.
Gnocchi in rabbit sauce