01 Jul University Cafe, Carlton
University Cafe is the oldest cafe and restaurant on Lygon St, established in 1952 by Eros and Gianni Milani. A popular spot for coffee, it’s also open from breakfast through to dinner. Although I knew it was a popular local, I was still surprised by how busy it was on a weeknight, with a number of regulars coming in. After ordering we were offered a basket of sliced sourdough with little tubs of Western Star, but didn’t have long to eat it before the dishes arrived.
Just what I like – simple with fresh ingredients. The orecciette con gamberi had a nice balance of vegetables, prawns and pasta with honest flavours that really showcased the orecciette, and freshness of the prawns. It was a touch too salty though, which detracted from a bit from the dish and made it a heavier than it could have been.
S ordered one of the specials of the day – linguine with clams, garlic, olive oil and chilli. There were plenty of clams to enjoy together with the smooth, al dente linguine. This dish had a more delicate, rounded flavour that suited the clams well.