18 Nov Cafe Latte, Toorak
Originally only open for the breakfast and lunch trade, over the last 20 years Cafe Latte has evolved to include dinner service as well. Under the direction of owner Luca Lorusso, Caffe Latte presents its beloved traditional dishes in a modern way, rather than going down the avant garde route.
The Fiori di Zucca is an ode to Luca’s mother, and his fond memories of her stuffing zucchini flowers with whatever was in the fridge. It’s also a celebration of seasonal Australian produce. At present, the Fiori di Zucca is stuffed with lobster and ricotta, and comes with asparagus puree and a sprinkle of sweet paprika. The lobster is nice and meaty, with a touch of sweetness. The dish is not heavily seasoned, allowing us to appreciate the freshness of the seafood, and the crisp zucchini flower, which is in fact organic, and grown in Luca’s own backyard.
We move on to the Carpaccio di Manzo. The eye fillet is supple and very thinly sliced, teamed up with rocket mayonnaise and crispy carta da musica. And what would an Italian restaurant be without pasta? The Cavatelli is a winning combination of nettle pasta, blue swimmer crab, chilli, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs.
The oven-roasted duck breast comes with beautifully crisp skin, celeriac puree, and broccoli leaves. Its slightly sour sauce is a great foil for the natural fattiness of the duck skin. A highlight of the lunch is the Baby Snapper with broad bean puree and Sicilian caponata. The dish has elements of both sweetness and tang, both balanced delicately to create a wonderful dish. Our lunch concludes with the Mattonella – a chocolate-coated, airy chocolate mousse cake filled with cherry jam.
Cafe Latte is the perfect place to go to for a little taste of Puglia. Here’s to many more years of deliciousness.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Cafe Latte as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
521 Malvern Rd
Toorak, VIC, 3142
(03) 9826 5846