Move over Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, game chef Riccardo Momesso’s green ants and mousse is in town.
Well, it might not be anymore, but it was Riccardo’s last move to finish his 11-dish game night in November.
It’s probably safe to say, even in the hunting community, not many people plan on eating ants for dessert, but alas, when Riccardo Momesso and Danny Leone host one of their famous game food nights at Ferrovia café all bets are off.
Chef creating his conversation starting masterpiece.
Danny said it’s spontaneity, Riccardo said it’s fair game. Either way, the results were a delicious chocolate mousse decorated with candied almonds and yes, green ants.
“Ricc only uses the best of the best,” Danny said.
“The ants are from the Northern Territory,” Riccardo said.
“They have a lemony-lime flavour which works really well with chocolate mousse.
“The flavour cuts through the fattiness of the chocolate.”
Riccardo said the trick, however, was not in the flavour, but in how many you eat.
“They’ve got an intense flavour that comes and goes really quickly,” he said.
“Just a few and they’re quite good.”
Put simply, quite good is underselling it. Not his first rodeo, the dishes were a step above the rest, with Riccardo providing samples showing the potential of game food, if prepared right.
“I’ve done them at other places in the past,” he said referring to past venture Valentino.
“I did a couple for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and it seemed to gather a bit of a following.”
Game chef Riccardo Momesso
Ferrovia’s November game night featured everything from buffalo burgers to braised baby goat.
“We try to use everything that is in season,” Riccardo said.
“That’s an old-school Italian mentality — using what’s in season,” Danny said.
“It all about maximising the flavours.
“Food should be good wherever you go, it’s as simple as that.”
The night also featured minestrone with fried barramundi and whole baked Murray cod in cartoccio, cherry tomatoes, black olives, oregano and Prosecco.
“I was excited about the introduction of the seafood, the barramundi and cod,” Riccardo said.
“It’s a great thing combining fishing and hunting — it’s all fair game to me.”
Ferrovia opened its doors nine years ago, after owner Danny spent some time away from the industry.
“I was in the industry a long time ago,” Danny said.
“I left and did various other work before realising what I enjoyed, and I went back to it with Ferrovia.”
Riccardo joined long time mate Danny at Ferrovia a few years ago.
“Ricc and I have been friends for years, we got chatting and he came on board,” Danny said.
“We’re inside four walls all day, but we hardly see each other until after, it’s always about the customer, so any issues are always sorted out later.
“It’s been great — a nice working marriage these past couple of years.”
Ferrovia has been hosting game nights for the past two years and has held four in the past 12 months.
“We try and do one every couple of months,” Danny said.
The last game night the two hosted was seafood based. They had so many people they were setting up seats on the sidewalk to fit everyone in.
“We chop and change,” Danny said.
“A lot of friends come, but friends of friends are our biggest draw,” Riccardo said.
“We promote mostly through Instagram and a mailing list, so people know when to book.
“We’re quite small so we fill up pretty quickly.
“Whatever you can get your hands on determines the theme.”
“We’re all about catch and cook,” Riccardo said.
How do you catch ants?
“They make a large nest in a mango tree for example,” Riccardo said.
“You grab the nest and you take the ants off. Then you put them in a bucket, freeze the bucket and then you eat them.”
Simple enough, just as Danny said.
Ferrovia café is located on 8 Railway Pde in Pascoe Vale, across from Pascoe Vale station.
The café is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 3 pm and on weekends 8 am to 3 pm.
Ferrovia is also open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner is from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
To book call (03) 9379 7377 or message them on Instagram @ferroviacafe.