Yeah, you read that right. South Morang.
No, I wouldn’t have guessed it either. Hidden in the middle of the northern suburban sprawl, among new residential estates, commercial buildings and retail shops is a charming Italian restaurant nestled against a gorgeous natural backdrop.
When I was first directed to go there last year (for a catch-up with a gathering with friends), I thought we were headed to some La Porchetta type place – given its location (no offense, nothing wrong with La Porchetta if you’re after basic food at pretty average prices; and no offense to South Morang, you just wouldn’t pick this as the type of place to be hidden here).
But when I drove into the parking lot, I was confused. When I walked into the front door, I was stunned. So convinced was I that I had imagined its entire existence, that a few days later, I took Shawn there to prove my sanity (or insanity). Yup! I’m sane, it was still there! Hidden at the back of an actual neighborhood is Farm Vigano, sitting perched against “The Gorge” parkland full of mature trees and bush. It’s a truly lovely setting… Okay, so now let’s talk food and drink….
We ordered a bottle of Springvale Chardonnay and the Antipasto Misto ($34/serves up to 5 people, or 4 peckish folk, or 2 very hungry bears) which was full of deliciousness: Italian salami & meats for the carnivores, imported & local cheeses, grilled & pickled vegetables, olives and casalinga bread. This platter is a great way to start your evening, so if you have room in the belly – order it!
The next thing to hit the table (aside from a second bottle of wine) were three thin-based-classic-style pizzas and one salad. The Gamberi pizza ($20) was a real hit with my father-in-law. Baby spinach and baby roma tomatoes were a perfect combo with the marinated tiger prawns (which were, by the way, declared as some of the more succulent and delicious of all time!)
|Bufala E Prosciutto|
Shawn ordered the Bufala E Prosciutto ($20) which oozed with buffalo mozzarella underneath the prosciutto crudo. The thinly sliced meat was simply lying across the top of this pizza, just warm from the heat it emitted – and perfect – according to Shawn.
|Insalata di Ceriali|
Being cheese lovers, my mother-in-law and I shared the Quattro Formaggi pizza ($20) – which had a lovely salty flair to it with the gorgonzola and parmesan mixed with fior di latte and mascarpone. I think secretly we wished we had ordered on each! ha! We also shared the Insalata di Ceriali ($14) which, compared with our cheese pizza, paled in flavour. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely salad – grains of spelt, barley, rice dancing around with pomegranate, almonds & currants … it just couldn’t hold up to the flavour of our pizza.
My father-in-law finished his meal with the Tiramisu ($15). I would like to tell you more about how it tasted, but it was nearly gone before I was able to ask…suffice to say, it must have been tasty! Shawn topped his dinner off with Gelato Misto ($7) of chocolate and lemon – happily eaten as well – always a good sign 🙂
I must say, after 3 visits, Farm Vigano offers consistently tasty and well-priced Italian fare all within a lovely atmosphere. If you’re ever in the area, or live locally and had no idea it existed – you truly need to give this place a try!
Service: ★★★★★ ✔
Atmosphere: ★★★★★ ✔