On a winter’s Sunday morning I took a trip to Italy …
Well, it was actually to Brighton, but you wouldn’t know it, because the moment you walk through the doors of Aromi, you are transported to a completely different world.
At the reigns of this 40-seat Italian restaurant are chefs Paolo Masciopinto and Salvatore Montella, both are no strangers to Melbourne’s culinary world having worked together at Bar Carolina and Sarti. Now they bring not only their experience but their heritage and stories to the heart of Brighton and plates of Melbourne foodies.
As a restaurant, Aromi is the perfect combination of traditional and modern Italian cooking. From the scallops and soft-shell crab to the most incredible spaghetto tomato, crab and macadamia – eating at Aromi is like being at an orchestra of flavours. Do save room for dessert – the chestnut Monte Bianco is totally worth it!
But it’s not just the food that makes this new kid on the block special. The attention to detail in everything they do, down to the herbs attached to the menu, really give diners a sense of their authenticity, not to mention the passion from both Paulo and Salvatore. Coming to Aromi feels like coming into their home, at the heart of Italy and being taken on a journey like no other.
As a masterclass, it is a beautiful, delightful, and delicious experience, guests have the opportunity not to be shown how to make pasta by the very best, but to get in on the action and be part of the creative process. Paolo took us back to his hometown, Piemonte, through his love of cooking and along with Salvatore created the ultimate food lover’s day.
I sat down with the team to talk about all things food, inspirations and the passion of cooking.
Congratulations on the success of the restaurant – what can guests expect when they come to Aromi?
Thank you very much! We are so happy people have embraced what we do at Aromi and we hope that everyone who comes, leaves with a sensation of having tasted true Italian hospitality.
When diners come to Aromi, they will experience an intimate space that allows us to focus on what we love best – creating authentic Italian flavours. From our house-made bread and pasta, to the wood-smoked fish and meats in the kitchen, we want to share with them our love of quality produce and our heritage in every taste.
Where did the name Aromi come from?
The word ‘aromi’ (aromi translates to ‘aromas’ in English) reflects our deep connection with Italy’s food culture, which is one based on aromatics (herbs), with each region emphasising different herbs to enrich their local dishes.
Let’s talk about the menu – where does the inspiration come from and what are you hoping guests will experience?
Aromi’s dishes are inspired by our passion for authentic Italian cuisine – the flavours and the history, with Paolo giving each our signature Aromi interpretation.
Aromi has a farm-to-table menu that is responsive not just to seasonality, but to the ‘best-of-market’ offers from our producers, whether it be prime game, seafood or market produce. Our relationships with them go back years, and now they ring in or drop by to Aromi with special offers on a daily basis, which means we can create special dishes.
Diners will enjoy a menu created from produce that has come straight from their place of origin, such as Aromi’s oysters, fresh from the farm, locally made mozzarella di bufala or freshly-picked saffron milk cap mushrooms.
What is the must have dish everyone must try?
We have some dishes that we are becoming well-known for: such as the the spagetto tomato with crab and macadamia. The handmade spagetto is made fresh daily by Paolo and flavoured with tomato, with the crab and macadamia providing a unique flavour and texture contrast.
At the end of the meal, our Chestnut Monte Bianco is hard to go past. This is known as the ‘king of desserts’ in Italy and is an Italian favourite, dating back centuries.
Paolo ‘s contemporary version is a rich tart of intense flavours.
But, that being said… we suggest everyone tastes their way through the menu to find their favourites!
I love that you’re running masterclasses, tell me a little about them and what can guests expect to learn?
Paolo is passionate about the history and culture that is the essence of Italian cuisine and during the Masterclasses series he will take you around 12 regions of Italy over 12 months, sharing his years of knowledge and teaching you how to make pasta specialities each region.
You will learn 3 recipes from each region at every Masterclass, and have the opportunity to learn first-hand Paolo’s ‘take’ on each pasta, how he crafts recipes and makes them his own, inspired by his love and passion for the traditions of authentic Italian cuisine.
At the end you will receive a stamp per region in your custom-made Aromi passport. The Pasta Masterclass journey starts in Paolo’s hometown of Piemonte and progresses down south to Sicily.
Once your pasta creations have been made, it will be time for everyone to sit down and enjoy a pasta feast with a glass of Prosecco!
To book your table visit: www.aromirestaurant.com.au
The next Masterclass will be held on the on the 4th of August