I hadn’t been back to Bicicletta in years, and caught up with a friend a few months ago for lunch. I’m glad they offered an undercover outdoor area as it was one of the hotter summer days in Canberra. For lunch, Bicicletta offer pastas, pizzas, salads and some antipasti plates. The dinner menu is more extensive with a protein (secondi) menu, and more options for pastas and pizzas.
I hadn’t eaten gnocchi in a while, so I ordered the gnocchi funghi e salsiccia ($25) with house made potato, ricotta and parmesan gnocchi in a white whine sauce sauteed with pork sausage, wild mushrooms and smoked provola. The portion was on the small side, but that just meant I had room for dessert afterwards. The skinless pork sausage came in large salty chunks but were overloaded with fennel seeds which just overpowered the other herbs in the sausage. The cheese had melted over certain pieces of gnocchi which meant there wasn’t a nice even layer of cheesiness in the dish, and you couldn’t really mix it altogether as the cheese wasn’t soft enough to reach that far.
My friend ordered the fusilli alla bolognese ($23) with nonna’s bolognaise sauce. This looked like great home style cooking of a classic dish. He enjoyed it but agreed that he could fit in dessert afterwards.
For dessert, I ordered the tiramisu ($12) and was happy the portion size. I received two layers of lady finger sponge, with a good amount of mascarpone sandwiched in between and on top. There wasn’t too much liqueur in the tiramisu which was great (for me) and had a low coffee profile. However, it tasted a little dry to me and wasn’t as smooth on the palate than others.
My friend ordered two scoops of gelato in bacio and chocolate flavours ($7.30). It was nothing out of this world but enjoyable on a hot day.
The service at Bicicletta is hit and miss. There was no sign requesting we wait to be seated, but I hung around by the counter waiting to be served. Although I could see staff walking around, no one took notice of me so I seated myself outside. After waiting for someone to provide menus, I finally just got up to grab them at the counter and helped myself to glasses of tap water. When ordering our meals, I asked to see the dessert menu and our waitress looked extremely puzzled at such a request. She repeated ‘You want the dessert menu now?’ and looked confused when I said yes and walked away to get it. Is it just me? I always need to look at the WHOLE menu to decide whether to get an entree or not, and how large a portion of a main I should order which is fully dependent on whether dessert is worth sticking around for. Other than that, service was polite if a bit sporadic. Our meals didn’t take long to arrive and plates were cleared promptly. The inside of Bicicletta was very dark as there are no windows except for the front entrance. There weren’t that many diners but that could be due to the Christmas/New Year shutdown.
Bicicletta is situated in New Acton, next door to A Baker, and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Value for money 7/10
FPJ score 18.5/30
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