Admittedly, I visited this restaurant mid-December 2013 but the food there was absolutely amazing that I cannot stop raving to anyone who may potentially visit the Sunshine Coast!
Located on Mooloolaba Esplanade, it boasts quite a rustic, quaint look, which warmly welcomes you as a waiter takes you to an available table.
After being handed over the menu (on a clipboard), James, Diane and I really struggled through the menu - everything sounded so goddamn scrumptious. As scrumptious as it sounded, initially I was quite skeptical due to past experiences with other Italian restaurants with fancy menus but it never lived up to my expectations. Moreover, the prices at Via Italia, is definitely on the upper-market level.
What originally caught my eye, was the pot of seafood:
38.9/ A pot full of Seafood Marinara Fregula, Sardinian Cous cous, octopus, cloudy bay clams, Mooloolaba prawns, our smoked salmon, spicy tomato, our "crazy water" kombu crisps.
Nearing close to $40AUD, I was a bit skeptical and James took that option anyways. After flipping the pages back and forth for almost 15 minutes, I finally decided to order:
36.9/ Italian spiced Porcetta, slow cooked pork belly, popcorn milk, apple balsamic pork jus, baby carrots, roasted plums, fennel and chilli pork crackers.
On the other hand, Diane decided on:
36.9/ Our Hay Smoked Salmon Fazzoletti, silky pasta sheets, capers, dill, smoked dried tomato, cream, sea vegetable, anchovy crumble.
We also ordered a bottle of red wine and merrily
chugged sipped at it until our food arrived.
Behold! The Marinara served in a rustic cast iron pot.
The pork belly dish looking quite artsy fartsy.
The Salmon Fazzoletti. The "sea vegetable"served on this dish (that long thin green veggie looking strips) is samphire! First time seen it served here in Australia!!
I definitely did not hesitate to dig into my dish as soon as it was served as I was starving ....
What. The. Hell?! This is sorcery!
How did you guys at Via Italia, manage to make pork belly that literally melts-in-your-mouth?!!!! I must know your secrets and will pester someone about this the next trip back to the coast!
Everything complimented one another on my dish: From the some what sour roast plums, easing the fatty, melty goodness of the pork belly, and the sweetness of deeply marinated baby carrots and the sauce.
I thought mine was the best dish ordered on the table until I took a bite of seafood marinara dish James had ordered. Now, let me get this straight - I generally do not like tomato-based sauce and it has to be absolutely flavourful and rich before I can actually say that I like it. I've been to one too many supposedly "amazing" Italian restaurants and always have been disappointed.
I can gladly say that Seafood Marinara pot is THE BEST I've ever tasted. Man, I did not know I was able to love a tomato-based dish so much! Even a slight mention of this pot, renders me into a drooling mess.
Diane's dish was great too: The pasta was silky, and cream sauce on seafood pasta is my favourite, it simply cannot go wrong! Not to mention, I love sun-dried tomatoes (okay, I get that it is funny that I hate tomato-sauce but love semi-sundried tomatoes from a jar).
Ashamedly, I have to admit that I finished my dish, finished Diane's dish (as she was a small eater), and I finally scooped the remainder of James' dish when he couldn't finish his either, to a point that Diane said that I had a "good appetite". *I lost my dignity over food*
I got a little side-tracked over food and must say that we had a very lovely Swedish waiter who explained everything and was of great service!
Anyways, time for my verdict!
- Food/Presentation: 5/5 (I cannot stop thinking about that seafood marina pot. Seriously!)
- Ambience: 4.5/5 (Love the rustic feel, but it was a bit too busy/cramped for my liking for it to be 5/5)
- Service: 5/5 (Had an awesome
cute/eye-candySwedish waiter who was professional and provided a great service!)
- Monetary value: 4/5 (Yes, it is somewhat overpriced but that's pretty much what you pay for "fine dining" restaurants. Personally, I am happy to pay that again for the food I had. Money doesn't compare when your taste buds are having an orgasm).
If we had a car, I'd be making very regular trips to Via Italia!
Pay them a visit if you are heading to the Sunshine Coast anytime soon!
Shop 13 Peninsula Apartments | Mooloolaba Esplanade,
(P): 07 5477 7343