Melbourne’s leafy suburb of Kew is seemingly overjoyed to have ‘Mister Bianco’ around – and it’s no wonder, quite honestly.
Although executive chef & owner Joseph Vargetto is a Melbourne boy, his family originate from Sicily, Italy. So he was lucky enough to grow up with a Mother who taught him much about Sicilian food & the joyous family traditions that go along with it.
For Joe, Mister Bianco is all about Sicilian food – and his heritage being honoured. As a chef, he brings a wealth of experience, having trained under Gaultiero Marchesi’s Michelin Starred restaurant in Northern Italy, then spending many years working incredibly hard honing his skills – in places like Melbourne’s infamous Florentine, and number 8 at Crown.
But he is also a seasoned restaurateur, having owned popular restaurants in the City. All this history, melded with his training and wealth of experience means we customers get to enjoy a well rounded, fun dining experience at Mister Bianco.
The venue is warm and extremely stylish. It’s simple & elegant and I thought the ambience was wonderful. It’s the kind of place you could go to for a delicious dinner with friends, a very special (romantic) date night, or a business lunch. And, there is an ‘upstairs’ with 2 private dining rooms – perfect for intimate gatherings or special events.
Though I eat out constantly (yes- tough gig but someone HAS to do it)…it’s rare that I am served literally 3 of my favourite things to eat in the one meal. So I was beyond thrilled with the wonderful menu.
Here’s what I had:
- Natural oysters with blood orange granita…Stunning.
- Baccala – (salted cod croquettes) – yes!
- Tuna carpaccio with avocado puree…so so good!
- Burrata Mozzarella – with heirloom beetroot and candied walnuts…sheer bliss.
- Pan friend barramundi with slow cooked tomatoes and black olive tapenade… Loved it.
- Dessert – Morello cherry and dark chocolate soufflé, with chocolate gelato and crunchy raspberry.
What can I say…Sublime.
We also managed to have a quick chat to chef Joe:
What is your favourite thing to eat?
“One of my favourite plates of food I have eaten was just recently in the mountains of Bolzano in Italy. Simple mountain spinach and ricotta with burnt butter and sage. Lots of freshly grated parmesan and it was heaven”.
Do you cook at home?
“I do cook at home. I love cooking for the family whether it be simple marinated lamb chops on the BBQ with minted eggplant or freshly cooked Sicilian style cavatelli (pasta) with home made tomato sauce and basil from the back yard”.
What has been your most memorable meal?
“About ten years ago in the historic, medieval town of Bergamo Alto in Northern Italy – (which is an amazing city with little trattoria’s that only the locals can take you to). It was a simple slow cooked rabbit in thyme and red wine with potatoes & lemon… I can still taste it”.
Who has been your biggest influence with food:
“My beautiful mum. Who taught me patience, dedication to your craft and an understanding of flavours – along with a strong work ethic”.
Click here to share Joe’s fabulous saffron risotto recipe.
MISTER BIANCO can be found at:
285 High Street Kew Victoria 3101
Tel +61 3 9853 6929
Dinner – Monday to Saturday from 6:00pm
Lunch – Wednesday to Friday from 12:00pm
It’s best to book.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.