Housed within a shopping complex in Wantirna South, the Keystone Restaurant is a family owned Italian restaurant and pizzeria with an innovative menu and modern fit-out. Complete with a woodfire pizza oven, this seemingly residential restaurant brings a little modern to the ‘burbs with floor to ceiling windows which creates a light filled dining space and a menu that specializes in more than just pizza and pasta.
When I arrived and was greeted by the staff, I was both amused and comforted by overhearing a conversation between them. I asked for the table by the window (better light for photos, duh!) and one waitress was mortified because there were regulars that HAD TO HAVE TABLE 4. The other waitress assured her they weren’t coming in anymore tonight, and the relief on the first waitresses face was classic… It was lovely to see that even though they had a blogger coming in, their main priority was their regular customers, Mr and Mrs Jones who always sit on table number 4, which is the way it should be.
We started with some tapas style starters. I didn’t love the zucchini fritters with roasted tomato, green pea mash, Harissa sauce, crispy pancetta and goats cheese mousse- I found them too floury, more like the fritters you would have with eggs for breakfast which confused my palate. I expected smaller more croquette-like fritters.
The mushroom arancini with taleggio cheese, porcini mushrooms topped with truffled aioli and buttery kale however, WAS TO DIE FOR. I haven’t had arancini like this for a long time. Forget those bite size arancini balls that always seem so gooey on the inside you don’t know if there is even risotto in them, this was the REAL DEAL. Delicious perfectly cooked risotto, gorgeous mushrooms, perfectly cooked kale, balanced textures. These are arancini worth travelling to Wantirna South for.
Kale really stars on this menu, as it also makes the pumpkin ravioli with broccolini, kale and a burnt butter and sage sauce. The pasta was well made and well cooked, and the greens were the perfect thing to cut through the rich, buttery sauce. Practically a salad, right?!
The chorizo and roasted potato pizza could have had less toppings, less cheese and a thinner base to make it more like a traditional Italian pizza, especially to better utilize the woodfire oven. I personally prefer a more traditional ‘ less is more’ style pizza, but the flavours were very nice regardless.
We didn’t have any room for dessert, but I would have liked to have been able to try one of their dessert pizzas which sounded amazing also! It was clear that effort was put into the presentation of all the dishes as well, which is always nice to see in the ‘burbs.
The Keystone Restaurant is conveniently located for all you East-siders who are looking for affordable Italian food in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. A menu that will please those who just want bolognaise and margarita pizza, but also those who want something a little more.
Please note: Foodie Melbourne dined as a guest of The Keystone Restaurant but all opinions are genuine.
Have a delicious day!