See profile of Anthony Bongiovanni here.
A.Bongiovanni & Son, 176-178 Victoria St, Seddon. Phone: 9689 8669
Our first visit to the flash new Seddon food emporium is in the early evening of opening day.
We only need a few things and are not intent on doing a serious shop, but are intrigued to have a good look around.
Having long been familiar with the furniture store that preceded it, we find it a little smaller than we expect.
But factoring in storage and refrigeration requirements, it all adds up.
The word we’d heard that this was going to be like a smaller version of La Manna at Essendon Airport has only partly eventuated.
On the one hand, this business is not going to put the supermarket around the corner out of business for the simple reason that – unlike La Manna – there is no loo paper or laundry powder or paper towels or … you get the picture.
Nope, here it’s strictly food and drink all the way.
On the other hand, like La Manna everything except the fruit and vegetables is packaged and packed and packaged again.
There’s a lot of plastic going on here.
There’s also a strong Italian factor, but they cover a lot of other bases, too.
At first blush, and with some notable exceptions mentioned below, this seems a pricey place.
Pricey, but top line just about all the way.
Whether it be ice cream, chocolate, pasta, antipasti, juices, ready-made curries or biscotti and much, much more, overwhelmingly most of the stock effortlessly falls into the “deluxe” category.
Finally, there is an undeniable “wow” factor.
Given the nature of the prices and the lines carried, it seems unlikely A.Bongiovanni & Son will be a staple of ordinary household shopping for us or just about anyone else.
But I reckon there’s little doubt it’ll become a regular stop when we want just the right kind of quality ingredients or just the right kind of treat we so often deserve.
Now that’s some really cheap pasta and tinned toms – although they have deluxe versions of both, especially the pasta.
The oil line-up looks pretty solid, although we didn’t stop long enough to get into specifics.
They have their own line of frozen stuffed pasta at a really good $3.49 – ravioli, tortellini and gnocchi.
It being the kind of night on which dad has nothing planned for dinner and we’re tired and uninspired, we grab a bag of the ravioli and a tub of Element bolognese sauce.
The beef ravioli we have a little later on are the best store-bought filled pasta I’ve ever had – no kidding!
Really, really tender with a nice nutmeg-infused flavour.
We’ll be having them again for sure, and trying the other two formats as well.
When it comes to the nuts and lollies, I think it’ll be a case of “prefer others” for us.
We’re really keen on hearing what other folks think of this long-awaited establishment!
Ms Baklover has got a more detailed post up at Footscray Food Blog.
She’s right to be in a celebratory mood – in our rush on a long and tiring week day, we didn’t even stop to marvel that such a place has opened up right in our neighbourhood!