Sunday, 7 October 2012

Cafe Latte - Melbourne - 521 Malvern Road, Hawksburn

I was mortified that I had never heard of Cafe Latte before.

It is the local Italian for the folk of Toorak - maybe that is why.

I was with Mr Toorak, who lives in Toorak, Mr Wanna-Be-Toorak (although I told him that he is more Mr Fitzroy at heart) and his wife, Mrs Get-F*cked-No-Way-We-Will-Ever-Live-in-Toorak.

We started with some Mumms and Veuve at Mr Toorak's home with some Prahran Market mezedes and then proceeded to walk to the restaurant through the residential streets of Toorak in the cold night gazing at the amazing lives of others.

Cafe Latte has a very dark, moody and warm atmosphere. There is great art work and the roof is adorned with a large white hanging ring.  Mr Toorak noted that the fit out was done by his personal architect. Moving right on.

The waiters knew Mr Toorak very well greeting him as a regular in an Italian coffee shop - he loved that.

And I love this place.

I couldn't resist the goat braised for hours with white wine, peas and fregola - superb and a very generous serving.

Mr Wanna-Be-Toorak who can never go past eggplant ordered the eggplant pasta with basil and aged ricotta. He said it's very copasetic - Mr Wanna-Be-Toorak often uses words that I, Miss-Lowly-Clifton Hill, do not understand.

He then explained, as he often does in a teacher-student kind of way, it is a Jamaican term for "it's in the pocket".

Now that is the perfect way to describe Cafe Latte - it's all in the pocket.

Mrs Get-F-cked-No-Way-We-Will-Ever-Live-in-Toorak thought her spatchcock was in the pocket and Mr Toorak felt the same about his seafood.

The sides of radicchio with orange and walnuts and rocket with parmesan were also in the pocket as was the vino and the background music playing of Al Jackson on drums and Al Green .

Desserts were quite good but did not blow me away - a minor leak in the pocket but still largely contained therein.

I wish Clifton Hill could take something away here and establish a place like this. I want to be hugged by waiters on arrival, I want the owners to know my name (instead of just the coffee guy who calls out my name because they ask for it) and I want bloody good Italian home-cooked meals a short walk away when I can't be stuffed cooking.

I guess we can't all live in Toorak.

8/10
Cafe Latte on Urbanspoon
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