As a rule, I if go somewhere where the food fails I don't care to revisit it in words: if it is forgettable I forget it. But The Spaghetti Tree in Bourke Street Melbourne, a place with the kind of carpet patterned with time and grease spots that constitutes a warning in itself, has a serious disjunction between the menu and the cutlery which gives it the restaurant equivalent of stepping on a three-corned jack.
Eschewing what is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to check out the duck risotto with parmesan and hoisin sauce, I take my chances with one of the specials - lamb shanks "the meat falling off the bone" with avocado gremolata. There is some discussion around the table about avocado gremolata, gremolata with its idea of sharp piquancy and avocado which has neither. Still, it is dinner time. Now if the lamb shanks had fallen off the bone it might have been around the time they were severed from the rest of the lamb as there was certainly no falling off of any meat, it was coupled to the shanks as if by a powerful electro-magnet. That the kitchen had a fair idea of the meat's disinclination to fall off the bone was underlined by the dish coming out with a steak knife. You know a dish looks plain unattractive when you hear yourself sigh seeing there are two of something instead of the usual one. On the upside the staff were fine.