Ever since Herald Sun restaurant reviewer Stephen Downes ventured out to Glen Waverley and reviewed the newly opened Sette Bello a few years ago, I knew it must be something special. It’s not often that food critics make the trip out to the south eastern suburbs so when they do, you know they are usually on to something.
Rather bizarrely located in the middle of the Brandon Business Park on the corner of Springvale and Ferntree Gully Roads, Sette Bello has a captive market of business people by day and knowledgeable locals by night. Hubby and I decided to give it a try on a recent Saturday night and see if it lived up to the hype. There are two sittings on Friday and Saturday nights – 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Needing to be back at a reasonable hour to pick up Miss Three, we went for 6.00.
The menu is Italian based with some Modern Australian leanings. Complementary bread is served and water glasses are constantly filled by the wait staff.
On the whole, we had a great night. It was nice to see quite a few families with children dining here too, despite the fine dining menu and prices.
For main course I had Duck and wild mushroom risotto with Barolo wine and shaved parmesan
Hubby had WA king prawn and crab meat risotto with crustacean bisque and fresh tomato
For dessert I had Spinge - Italian doughnuts, honey, vincotto and rum raisin ice cream
Hubby had Callebaut Belgium chocolate fondant with a white chocolate milkshake and vanilla bean ice cream
I was slightly disappointed with my entree pork...it was slightly dry in parts and the skin was more chewy than crispy...but the flavours of the dish were excellent, especially those of the accompanying salad. The risotto was full of flavour...not as good as the similarly flavoured one I'd had at Tutto Bene but close. The Italian doughnuts were great but it was a bit difficult to eat them without a knife. I thought they needed some sort of filling...they were a little doughy and could have done with some jam or custard. The rum raisin ice-cream they were served with was excellent.
Hubby found the scallops with the salsa slightly too tangy but thought they were balanced well by the gremolata ones. He would also have liked some shaved parmesan on his risotto (I gave him some of mine). He thought the Chocolate Fondant filling was very rich but well balanced by the ice-cream and milkshake (these were both highlights and full of flavour).
Overall the food was of a very high standard. The service was excellent and we were really made to feel welcome by every staff member. It was nice to experience a fine dining menu and service in a casual atmosphere. There is lots of parking...no need to drive around frantically looking for a spot here!