Bicicletta Restaurant Review
Mick samples some Italian fare in Canberra at newly renovated restaurant Bicicletta. Delizioso!
Bicicletta Restaurant is situated in the Diamant Hotel which, in June this year, was involved in a dramatic fire that left a neighbouring restaurant and bar completely gutted. Luckily, Bicicletta was spared from the blaze and remains a popular dining destination in this 84 year old heritage listed building.
The restaurant is quite un-assuming as you enter. No large signs fanfare the entrance, as you simply walk past the kitchen on your way into a tasteful and impressive looking restaurant. Unique light-fittings adorn the ceiling as an Italian singer provides the backing tape to a modern
and classy looking establishment.
Bicicletta means bicycle in Italian which, un-surprisingly, is the cuisine of this restaurant. This may also be a reference to an impressive range of traditional and Pizza Bianca (no tomato base) pizzas. Pastas, insalate (salads) and other main meals are also available. The ranges of pizzas were hard to resist, so my dining partner and I decided to share two between us. One, a pork sausage and porcini mushroom option, from the traditional menu, and the other, a prawn, mushroom, fresh tomato and truffle oil pizza from the Pizza Bianca selection.
Before tucking into the pizzas, however, we tried the trio of bruschetta (bruschette miste), combining a tomato, gorgonzola and vegetable bruschetta to prepare the taste-buds. I love a bruschetta that is crunchy, yet light to suit as an entrée, and these bruschetta were definitely impressive. The gorgonzola in particular, with its sharp taste, was a delight.
Our host, Aldo, suggested a bottle of chianti to go with our meal, and it was an inspired choice. This light easy drinking wine went well with the various flavours in the bruschetta and pizzas.
The pizzas were in good contrast to each other. One, with a tomato base, was more traditional with its sausage and mushroom topping, but the Pizza Bianca was outstanding. The delectable morsels of prawn, along with the exquisite truffle oil, made this pizza a real taste sensation and is highly recommended! The base and crust were light enough that you didn’t need to worry about it filling you up too much and the fresh tomato topping more than made up for the lack of tomato base.
Our waitress was very friendly and checked in with us frequently and Aldo even took me around the back to show me the burnt out buildings next door. It is quite scary to see how close the flames must have been to burning down the rest of the building.
For dessert, I could not resist the tiramisu, whilst my partner indulged in some chocolate and pistachio gelati. Some tiramisus I have had in the past have been heavy on the coffee or too thick on the sponge layer so I am always interested to taste what a good Italian restaurant can offer. Bicicletta’s tiramisu was excellent. There was no over-powering coffee taste, rather a light fresh dessert that finished off the meal perfectly.
The warm and friendly surrounds of Bicicletta are perfect for a large group or an intimate romantic meal. With an excellent array of Italian dishes to choose from, any diner would not be disappointed, combined with the chance to view an historic piece of Canberra, Bicicletta is a perfect destination for a good night out.