Food and Drink
Posted by Amelia Moulis
30. Sep, 2013
Sartago is Latin for “frying pan”, where a dash of everything is tossed together to create a meal. At his warmly-decorated space hidden just off Swan Street in Richmond, chef Ricardo Messora (ex Enoteca Sileno and Caffé e Cucina) aims to do exactly that: combine a dash of everything from his Italian upbringing, from his wife’s French heritage, and from their Mediterranean travels together, to serve up his dream restaurant.
The breadth of Sartago’s menu immediately separates it from the other Greek and Italian restaurants dotting Swan Street. It’s easy to forget mains entirely with the extensive list of entrees such as “palate ticklers” of Moroccan braised lamb in crisp filo fingers ($3 each) and “flights” of tapas including the finely-balanced Spanish ceviche with slivers of mandarin and almonds ($15). These sharing dishes just about demand a glass of local or European wine, or perhaps a cocktail or two from the concise drinks list.
Sartago’s main dishes continue this Mediterranean miscellany, featuring chicken bastilla – sweet, crispy pastry encasing a savoury chicken and egg stuffing ($20) – or calamari stuffed with couscous and served with clams and octopus ($25). Dessert is also a highlight. Who can go wrong with a rich chocolate “brick” accompanied by espresso mousse, thick salty caramel sauce, passionfruit, a coconut snap and a macaroon ($14). Messora’s passion for Mediterranean food is the life-blood of the restaurant, and flows through to his regular cooking classes conducted in the Sartago kitchen.
In sourcing local and sustainable ingredients for his menu and his classes, Messora reconstructs flavours from Portugal to Lebanon and back. With such varied influences, Sartago is the ideal place to go when your tastebuds are tentative but your stomach is starving.
460 Church St, Richmond
Tuesday to Friday 10am till 11pm
Saturday 12pm till 11pm
Sunday 10am till 4pm
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