25 Nov Caffe La Via, Malvern
Caffe La Via has been occupying its spot on Glenferrie Road since 1999. Known for sporting a Modern Australian menu with a Mediterranean slant, they’ve just undergone a renovation and a menu refresh.
We began the night with some Aperol Spritz before tucking into some appetisers.
The zucchini flowers were encased in a light and crunchy batter and stuffed full of pillowy ricotta, the mint sauce the perfect foil for brightening each mouthful.
Looking a bit like croquettes on first glance, the mac (n’ cheese) squares had a crunchy, coarse crumb, a gentle cheese flavour and a punchy homemade BBQ sauce that complemented the pasta bites well.
We then tried two quite different dishes. On one hand, we had the more delicate lemon and mint quail salad with birds-eye chilli, basil, cucumber, bean sprouts and lemon wedge, and on the other, we had the soft shell black crab on Japanese Tang Zhong bun with homemade radish and vinaigrette slaw, citrus mayo and baby herbs, and thick cut chips. The quail was juicy with a nicely charred skin, and a tasty sauce that was more on the Asian side. The soft shell crab was also well done, and the thick chips were satisfyingly crunchy and fluffy.
The night ended with a decadent homemade sticky date pudding with a warm butterscotch sauce and of course, some ice cream.
The restaurant was laid back and comfortable, and the service was friendly and attentive. Caffe La Via is a good place for enjoying a good meal and whittling the hours away.
Caffe La Via
252-254 Glenferrie Road
Malvern, VIC, 3144
(03) 9509 6373