Tutto Continental, Mawson

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This is a place I’ve been meaning to go to for awhile now. I first heard of Tutto Continental when an Italian friend told me about this amazing antipasto plate they managed to procure and I became insanely jealous by how amazing it sounded. The next week I ventured down there and had a bit of a look around. First impression was that it’s just a really cool place, a real authentic deli with all the standard Italian cured meats that you’d expect to see if you were in Italy. So, weird thing about me, even though I write a food blog, I really hate being one of those intrusive people that go up to restauranters and say “HEY I’M A FOOD BLOGGER LETS TALK ABOUT BEHIND THE SCENES STUFF SO I CAN GET A SCOOP” (I’m not sure if they yell, but I’m thinking they might?) This time was no different and unfortunately it lead to a really awkward situation for me, so maybe those people are onto something. There was no price or mention of an antipasto plate on the board so I naturally assumed it was an “Italians only” deal and sheepishly walked out with nothing. It’s a curse.

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Before I get ahead of myself, I should mention that Tutto Continental is a delicatessen in Mawson which sells pretty much everything a great Italian deli should. They stock some fresh ingredients including pasta, bread, olives, cheeses as well as heaps of premium and gourmet dry and canned goods like pasta sauce, vanilla beans, coffee, wines and etc. Though the one thing that I was in love with as soon as I saw it, was the range of cured and dried meats they had in their cabinets, but more on that after the picture of them below. They also stock some classical Italian goods like espresso machines, moka pots and other kitchen utensils. Pretty much, if you’re looking for something Italian, chances are Tutto will have it.

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Look at that! There was an abundance of prosciutto, salami and other meats that I’m not going to embarrass myself with by trying to spell correctly. There’s one thing that I’d be kicking myself over if I never mentioned it, and that’s the price of this place. While a lot of the supermarket goods at Tutto are at standard European deli prices (i.e. fairly expensive for high quality stuff) the meats, olives and cheeses in the deli is surprisingly cheap! Stuffed olives for $20 a kilo, dried meats at a solid $8 to $10 less than I’ve seen them for elsewhere. This is where you’d go if you’re planning on hosting a party where you pretend you’re more refined than you actually are; sipping on wine and discussing things like game theory and uh, yachts.

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So, to continue the story from above where I went to buy something, got scared and then didn’t buy anything (please tell me I’m not the only person that this happens to), my friends decided to go and get another antipasto plate and feeling sorry for me, they threw me a pity invite so I could try it. So here it is! Tutto Continental’s antipasto plate ($10 per person) and it is massive! We had six people on the day, so of course, your mileage may vary but this was definitely great value for money, and a hell of a lot of food at that! You can see above that there’s mountains of cured meats, as well as stuffed olives, normal olives, cheeses and artichokes. I should mention, I saw my friend order this, and the entire exchange took place in English, so my earlier fears of an “Italian only” deal were very much dashed. Though, I quite like making the Italian guy order the antipasto plate; just felt right. Wow, that sounds so racist.

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The antipasto plate at Tutto Continental is quite possibly one of the best antipasto plates I’ve ever had the good fortune of trying, everything was absolutely delicious and I can’t help but go on about the size and value of it. $10 per person is absolutely insane, and my mind is still boggled at the idea of it. It was served with some fantastic fresh Italian bread with olive oil and balsamic and when we ran out of bread (it happens) we were presented with more, no questions asked! I don’t normally talk about things like “service” but really, the service in this place is really laid back and it’s a wonderful experience to sit here eating cured Italian meats, sipping on good Italian coffee and pretending you’re Tony Soprano.

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Here’s a close up of the prosciutto on some bread (with some salami underneath, don’t judge me). The prosciutto was easily my favourite meat of the whole platter, it was one of the fattiest and decadent pieces of prosciutto I’ve ever had, and while some people might think “ew fatty meat, I only eat lean meats” well, why are you reading about an antipasto plate? One thing that completely caught me off guard was the olives stuffed with anchovy. Nobody told me that this existed, and nobody told me that it was freaking amazing! Logically, when I think about it, it just sounds like salt on salt, and maybe it’d be a bit too much and unenjoyable, but I got my hands on one and it just blew me away. Amazing.

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So there it is, my day at Tutto Continental eating antipasto. I also grabbed a Cappuccino ($3) simply because it felt like the right thing to do. Of course as you might know by now, I am not a coffee nerd and generally will just enjoy anything that’s put in front of me. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed this one a lot. But if you want a more educated opinion, my friends really loved the coffee here and these are the people who think that the coffee at The Cupping Room is lacking, so they’re a picky bunch when it comes to good coffee. On a side note, Tutto Continental also does espressos for $1.50! $1.50 for good Italian coffee, that is just unheard of!

Tutto Continental was a really great experience and something that I’m really keen to visit again as soon as possible. Antipasto plates used to be one of those things that I considered a massive rip off, but that’s been completely flipped with the knowledge that I can get a fantastic one for essentially $10. A real bargain, and an amazingly delicious and high quality one at that.

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