When I first heard of Ee Da Le by Harlan Goldstein I hadn’t a clue it was Italian, all that came to my mind were musical notes and possibly opera.
The logo for Ee Da Le sees the name spelt as three words almost encouraging you pronounce them separately. It’s only when you merge them you realise the name Ee Da Le or rather Eedale is how many Chinese pronounce Italy!!
A bubbly Harlan Goldstein greeted guests invited to a lunchtime preview tasting a day before the public soft opening.
The decor is understated yet has this rich Italian operatic touch and feel to it with ruby red velvet curtains, extravagant light shades, a tile looking floor that isn’t and all the small details that you don’t really see unless you look closely. The 58 seat restaurant features a long open kitchen to observe and smell the chefs hard at work. There’s also a full bar where you can enjoy a cocktail while waiting for your table.
On arrival, we were served with a plate of cheese bread, which looked like cute mini loaves accompanied with a green salsa verde dip which was made with pickled onion, pesto, white vinegar and parsley. The bread was quite firm, with a nice cheesy taste. Dipping it in the salsa verde mellows the cheese out nicely.
A selection of anti-pasti dishes arrived next including a tomato bruschetta, a scallop carpaccio and Mama’s Meatballs.
The Pomodoro, slices of tomato bruschetta $32/piece, were light and crispy and heaped with fresh tomato that had a tangy punch to it.
Mama’s Meatballs ($108) are made with veal, beef and pork sausage smothered in Sunday gravy. These meatballs were amazing because they were lean and velvety yet soft and moist, while the delicious Sunday gravy made the meatball experience complete as it was meat juice mixed with tomatoes and fragrant herbs like bay leaves.
The Crudo di Mare ($168) was quite summery; the scallops were drizzled in citrus topped with sea urchin, sun-dried tomatoes and anchovy, which gave it some bolder flavours.
Moving on, we had the Char-grilled Sicilian Octopus ($168) served on a bed of mash (potato crema) topped with olives and a baby gem lettuce heart. The octopus tentacle was infused with herbs yet it still tasted like it was straight from the sea with that firm springy texture.
The last dish, Madam Chu’s Signature Linguini with Red Prawns ($428) was stunning. A vibrant linguini in a thick orange sauce served on a black plate with an edge that looked like the surface of the moon replete with mini craters.
If you look closely, you can see generous pieces of small dried shrimps, which give the linguini such a strong salty prawn flavour. The prized red prawns add sweetness through the essence that comes from the prawn head. A truly rich linguini, which can get quite heavy for one so it is best shared.
For dessert, we finished with Affogato ($68), which came with smoke coming off it, and then hot espresso was poured on top. The intense chocolate flavour, contrasted with these strong coffee bits, Amaretti crumble and Tahitian vanilla gelato.
Ee Da Le’s team are still finding their feet in the new kitchen as the workmen complete the finishing touches, yet the food is beautifully cooked and presented. We’ll be back for more of Mama’s meatballs and to explore further the extensive menu.
Ee Da Le
3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 2896 1838
Opening Hours: 12-3pm, 6-11pm
Photos: Jayne Russell