One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. The greatest delight is talking about eating whilst you are eating with friends. Last week I asked Canberra to tell me where you would take a friend to share a charcuterie/antipasto platter. Jamie’s Italian and Molly were nominated as the favourites.
For anyone who hasn’t been to Molly, it is hard to find, with only coordinates listed for the address. When you find it, you walk through an unmarked wooden door, down into a basement; the smell of whisky is strong. Pull open the second wooden door and step back into the 1920’s. The bar staff were very welcoming and all wore a matching uniform; rustic aprons and bow ties. I positioned myself at the bar (I think it provides the best experience) and was immediately offered a drink (I figured I would need something to wash the charcuterie board down). Molly offers four types of boards; French, Italian, Spanish, as well as meat and cheese, I went with the Italian board; an amazing spread of sopressa salami and serrano ham; sourced from Italy and spain, as well as grapes, quince paste, fine slices of green apple, cornichons (baby gherkins), caper berries, sourdough bread, dried figs, brie, smoked provolone and olive, tomato and garlic gouda. I will admit, I did attempt to eat this by myself, but as I was indulging, I noticed a customer looking at me. I wasn’t sure if he had food envy or if he was judging me for attempting to eat the entire platter on my own. I figured he was judging me, so I quickly offered to share …. and he very quickly took me up on the offer. In hindsight, after listening to him rave about how fantastic the platter was, I think he had food envy.
On Saturday I met a friend in the sunny outdoor area at Jamie’s Italian in Civic. I tried not to get distracted by the pastas and desserts as I searched their menu for “Planks”. Jamie’s has three planks to choose from; meat, fish or vegetable. We waited a while before our order was taken, and a while longer for our meat plank to arrive. Out came two 800g Italian tomato tins, which a long wooden plank was placed on top of. The plank was covered in prosciutto, wagyu bresaola (cured beef), artisanal mortadella (pork cold cut), olives, peppers, caper berries and bocconcini (it could not be confirmed where the produce is sourced from). The plank was very well presented, with each item perfectly placed. We were excited to dig in, but quickly noticed the lack of bread. Without sounding too critical, I personally think bread is a key element to charcuteri/antipasto, but hey! I’m Italian, and like salami, bread is a staple to me. We ended up ordering a side of bread, an easy fix!
The cost of each wasn’t too different; the Molly platter was $25.00, and Jamie’s was $28.00, plus $1.75 for a bread tin however, when comparing value for money, Molly is the clear winner on this round. The Molly platter was huge; more than enough for two people. The Jamie’s plank was scarce on produce, only providing two of each item; two olives; two caper berries; two pieces of meat. I was a little disappointed because the concept of charcuteri/antipasto is Italian and Italian’s are big eaters.
I was very impressed by Molly, dare I say, their platters could definitely give my Nonna a run for her money.