Posts Categorized: Bourke St

Busting the great Pellegrini’s myth

People love Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. It’s because of the atmosphere and the 1950s charm. It’s a great place to hang out and watch the top end of Bourke Street go by – as long as you are not eating or drinking coffee. If you have anything more ambitious than a glass of water (alcohol isn’t served) you’ll be disappointed because the food and the coffee are also both stuck in the 1950s. But the place is packed, so why would they change? And it is a shame that they don’t at least learn to make coffee properly. The espresso is foul, with the combination of old-style Vittoria Beans (the same blend from the 1950s I’m told, which appears to be the coffee equivalent of Barossa Shiraz) and overextraction making for mouth puckering bitterness. The latte. Well, we couldn’t refuse it although my companion @melbournebitter tried. The Barista’s eyes hypnotized her into saying “…he asked with those brown coffee bean eyes.” And so it was he strutted his cocksure self to the espresso machine and continued eyeing her up, paying more attention to the “lady” than the coffee. And she loved it. Sure enough the latte was thin and bitter. The colour of mushroom, and thanks to overheating of the milk, it had lost all it’s sweetness. It was a travesty. The food is better than the coffee but slap dash at best in cooking and presentation. The spaghetti looks like slop, although served with meatballs tasted just about alright. The lasagne was overcooked and piping hot, so hot that we wondered whether or not it had been microwaved. It reminded me of the kind of refectory food I’ve been served at schools and colleges, frankly the kind of stuff I don’t want to eat anymore. In fact, it tasted just like the pasta from The Spaghetti Tree opposite. Sure, Pellegrini’s is a romantic venue. I can see why visitors to Melbourne would visit the place for its charm. But for your own sake avoid the coffee. And think twice before eating.