Sunday, February 5, 2012

Teatro Vivaldi in ANU: a theatrical experience

The Teatro Vivaldi restaurant is in an inconspicuous building surrounded by trees, found among foreboding academic buildings in the Australian National University. The restaurant was decorated with everything that reminds you of traditional and kinda Shakespearean theatre – black stage walls, red velvet curtains, beams and camera lights hanging from the ceiling. The walls were covered in theatre memorabilia – kitsch Venetian masks, black and white photographs of actors and old-school theatre advertisements. The overwhelming amount memorabilia made me feel like there were thousands of empty eyes were on me, and after a while, I felt like I was an actress myself. Although the ‘scene’ was a bit constructed, the place is a unique and distinctive in Canberra.
One of the two dishes we had was an oven baked Tasmanian salmon, on a sweet potato mash, baby spinach and drizzled with lime aioli. The sweet potato mash was a hit – sweet comfy goodness which made me re-think: Are sweet potatoes really more healthy than potatoes if I enjoy sweet potatoes more?! Unfortunately the key star of the show, the salmon, failed to perform to its potential. It was overcooked, dry and not very tasty. Up to this point, I was convinced that all salmon in Canberra suck.

The other dish we got was a sirloin steak with a roasted potatoes and pumpkin finished with a cabernet and green peppercorn jus accompanied with a rocket salad. I can’t remember this one as clearly (I feel a tad guilty when I eat red meat, for  environmental and chloesterol reasons, so maybe my memory plays tricks on me and refuses to remember when I do consume it). The steak was cooked to our expectations – tender, medium well – but steak isn’t hard to cook after all. It was a good meal but not something that I would rave to others about.

Overall, I enjoyed the restaurant experience and would consider having my birthday celebration there to expose my friends to this distinctive (but slightly constructed) place. The food was mediocre so I’ll have to scope out other places.

Teatro Vivaldi Restaurant
ANU Arts Centre
University Avenue


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