Yak Italian Kitchen & Bar, CBD

2/01/2015 , , 0 Comments

Yak Italian Kitchen & Bar is a popular Italian restaurant on the corner of Flinders Lane and Russell St, about a five minute walk from Flinders St Station. The restaurant prides itself on using fresh seasonal ingredients, and all pasta and pizza dishes are hand made using stone ground flour.

The restaurant is opened for breakfast on weekdays, lunch from Tuesdays to Fridays, and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays. As it is quite popular, it's probably best to book in advance for a table, even though they take walk ins. We went on a Friday night and didn't make a reservation beforehand, but luckily they found us a table for two. We did have to leave before a 7pm reservation, so if you want to be able to enjoy your meal and not feel rushed, it's definitely better to make a reservation.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is very lively, and at times a little noisy from the crowds of people at the bar, but we didn't really have to raise our voices to hear one another, which was good. There aren't any decorations on the walls, it's very simple, but the whole restaurant is very brightly lit. The service was quite fast, and the staff were friendly and very attentive.

We decided on a pizza and pasta dish to share, and ordered the Gamberi Pizza ($25.80) and the Spelt Flour Fettucine with Lamb ($26.80). To start off the meal, we were given a complimentary dish of slices of bread to dip in olive oil. It was great to have this while we waited for our orders to come, and made it feel like there wasn't a very long wait for the food to come.

The Gamberi Pizza consisted of lemon and herb marinated prawns with asparagus and capers. This was a really refreshing and enjoyable dish, as it felt really light - perhaps because it wasn't a tomato based one, or because the crust was really light and crispy. The lemon flavour really came through for some acidity, and the asparagus added extra texture for some crunch. The prawns had really good elasticity and were quite fresh, which added to the lightness of the dish in general.

The fettucine dish was served with Tasmanian salt grass lamb, pancetta, saffron, and a lemon and peas ragu. The lamb was extremely soft and tender and didn't have too strong the natural lamb flavour that can be a bit overpowering for some people. The fettucine was also cooked really well and you could tell it was fresh. However, the peas were a bit undercooked and hard and there was hardly any pancetta in the dish. The whole dish also felt a little oily and heavy by the end, as there wasn't anything that was lighter in the dish that could balance it out.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience at Yak, though the food is a little on the pricier side; obviously Yak is a higher quality restaurant than some of the other places I usually blog about. Though the menu isn't very extensive, the ingredients and elements of the dishes are quite interesting and of a better standard, and worth a try for a classy Italian experience.

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7.5/10
Price: 7/10

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