Oh what a find this was, married into an Italian family I had very high expectations for La Vela. Plus my brother had raved on about it all weekend so when burger boy & I’s close friends suggested it for dinner, I was pretty excited.
La Vela is on Scarborough Beach Road and doesn’t look like anything special from the outside, although it did have a very ‘Italian’ looking entry door. The inside of the restaurant was simple but cozy. It’s BYO wine so we bought a bottle of Happs Fuchsia (2010) which I absolutely love, it has very little (if any) preservative so I was able to get away with drinking it without spraying in my So2Go wine preservative remover which I take everywhere with me (for those who don’t know, I get a rash from drinking that is until I found So2Go!).
As we were deciding on what to eat, the waitress brought out four complimentary arancini balls which were tasty and a lovely gesture, I reckon it’s the little things that makes the difference between a good and an amazing dining experience! Knowing that the mains were going to be pretty filling we ordered the garlic bread to start and plus we were all pretty keen to order dessert and were trying to save space in our tummies (I was very excited to see pannacotta on the specials menu).
I ordered the Gnocchi Alfredo $26 which was out of this world – the creamy sauce was delicious, it was just the perfect consistency – not too sickly thick and not runny & diluted…the pasta had diced chicken breasts which were very tender, bacon and I had requested for it without the mushrooms. The gnocchi was divine, they weren’t your usual round shaped gnocchi, they were square and again like the sauce it wasn’t too ‘thick’ probably not the best word to describe it but I hope you know what I mean – it just tasted so amazing…I was going to order the entrée size knowing the portions Italians serve but burger boy wanted some so we went for the main, even though I actually managed to eat most of it. Poor burger boy was waiting patiently for me to pass my plate on to him to finish but that moment never came!!
burger boy at last minute had switched his order from a pasta to the pork belly special which was served with vegetables $32. From the bite I had, it tasted nice & lean…and burger boy was very happy with it. Our friends had the entrée sized spaghetti bolognese $14 and the Rigatoni Arrabiata $18 Rigatoni pasta served with hot Italian sausage (from the bite I had it wasn’t too rich) which they both enjoyed.
When it was dessert time, no one could fit anything but me…I think it was because my food takes at least 20 minutes to sink into my tummy which often tricks me into thinking I still have room. It was hard choosing between the white chocolate pannacotta served with raspberries $8 and the special which had a poached pear in white wine served with vanilla pannacotta and straw biscuit $9…I really should have gone with my gut which was to go with the special but I went with the raspberry pannacotta – the white chocolate won me over. Unlike my pannacotta experience at The Partisan which was way too soft, this was way too firm, the edge of the dessert had hard chewy bits but the centre was ok…and the raspberries were a bit too sour for my liking (but I should have know that raspberries are generally not sweet!!).
For $110 before the 25% entertainment discount voucher, La Vela is fantastic value for money – I’ll definitely be back with or without the discount! Service was amazing as was the food, dessert was a bit of a let down but as I’ve discovered not everyone can do Pannacotta like Red Herring and Cantina 663!