Spaghetti Tree RestaurantThe Spaghetti Tree Restaurant is located in the 'Theatre District' of Melbourne at the top end of Bourke Street.
We are a large establishment that seats approximately 350 guests and we pride ourselves on friendly and efficient service.
We also have a function room that seats around 80 guests and is suitable for weddings, engagements, work functions and presentations, Christmas parties or any special occasion.
The Spaghetti Tree has a welcoming and comfortable environment for your dining pleasure, and a special place to visit for a walk down memory lane with pictures and photos of movie stars and entertainers from the Classical Hollywood era.
We offer a delicious choice of dishes for both our lunch and dinner menus at exceptional value.
Opening its doors in 1980, it is still one of Melbourne's most popular eating places. We are within walking distance of Her Majesty's, The Princess, The Comedy and Regent Theatres, and within close proximity to all major sporting venues.
We have been to the restaurant many times over the years and can highly recommend it.
The Restaurant is open at 11:30am - 2.30pm Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner every night from 5:00pm.
The Age Digital Edition: Memories are made of this
It's like clockwork every winter. Humpback whales head for the balmy Pacific and Melbourne restaurateurs, Italian or not, turn their hand to comforting carbs.
In the past month alone, Scott Pickett has opened Lupo, the Congress team has dropped cafe Lagotto, and the Valmorbida family have loosed Agostino wine bar upon us. What a good time, then, to consider Spaghetti Tree, a 300-capacity Bourke Street stayer that's weathered 39 winters, was founded by a German restaurateur before being taken over by Vicki Malaspina and son David in 1998 and is named for possibly the greatest April Fool's prank by a reputable news source.
April Fool's Day
In 1957 the BBC's Panorama ran a story on what a good year it had been for the spaghetti tree crops, thanks to a warm winter, and eradication of the spaghetti weevil. The corporation spent £100 faking a spaghetti harvest on the supposed Swiss-Italian border. Brits called the Beeb in their hundreds, some asking how to cultivate their own trees.
Cut to 1980, when the Italian restaurant opened on the upper reaches of Bourke Street, replete with its own ornamental spaghetti tree. Allegedly children kept plucking the spaghetti so they ditched it. This is a theatre restaurant in ways that go beyond their dedication to getting you out for curtains (your drinks order is taken along with your show time). Come on Friday and Saturday nights and a one-man band will serenade you with a squeezebox as you dine. If you ask people for their memories of Spaghetti Tree, you get the full spectrum. Fantastic first dates. Horrific work stories.
Most Melburnians admit fascination, but haven't been. Those who have, and who love it, live for that old restaurant smell and for its cocktail specials of mojitos in winter. Those fans include Julia Zemiro, who dubbed its look "saloon brothel'' , and the first lady of the ABC, Leigh Sales.
I've heard people froth with outrage at the brevity and "cheapness' ' of the wine list. Who conversely baulk at the $30 spaghetti marinara and mock the Moroccan salad and chicken satay for ruining the purity of the entree list. Do not take these people. Find your Leigh Sales and shout them a banana split. Truly. That dessert is a prime specimen of fruit and nuts and whipped cream. Like the pastas, which constitute about half the menu, and dishes that hail from a time when signatures had human names (chicken alberto sees your breast smothered in a creamy mustard sauce), the banana split does what it says on the menu.
There's no tipping to the trends of cacio e pepe here. Still, on last visit I can vouch that its tomatoey spaghetti marinara was gigantic, hot and fresh; creamy garlic prawns were a pure nostalgia hit and the banana split a ridiculous nutty, creamy confection.
If you're expecting something else, like a specifically Roman menu or a biodynamic wine list, there are literally hundreds of Italian restaurant at your service.
But how many of them have busy carpets and a vintage phone booth? How many with a dancefloor and memories from theatre shows on every inch of wall? Take it, or leave the rest of us here with our penne alfredo, our jar of parmesan, and no adult supervision.
This article is from the June 11, 2019 issue of The Age Digital Edition.
To subscribe, visit digitaleditions.com.au.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ 59-63 Bourke St Melbourne | Map
✆ 03 9650 3174
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