There have been many Italian Restaurants which have come and gone in the building that now houses this new, eye-catchingly lime-green cafe. Every time we've driven past the place it always looks quite busy, and out of curiosity we came to check it out and to see whether it's finally a "keeper". Having read a quite a few discouraging reviews, we were pleasantly surprised by both the service and the food that we had for lunch today.
The dining area consists of 3 zones - indoors, "out-door room", and outside. Being a cold, windy winter day we (wisely) opted to be seated indoors. The staff were friendly, efficient and certainly very helpful with all our requests. We arrived at midday and there was only a handful of occupied tables initially, but within 30 minutes the place was filled with grandparents catching up with grandkids, real estate agents and retirees having lunch.
We put in our orders and the food was served within 10 minutes, which is always good when dining with little ones. We ordered the Arancini which was a starter, which was a generous serve of 3 cheesy rice balls served with Napoli sauce for $12.90. I knew Macaron Monster loves this, and it was a hit.
They have several kids menu items including fish, parma, cheesburger and lasagne, all served with chips, at $9.90. We ordered the lamb kebab with chips which was a good sized serve and was very tasty, but might have a touch too much garlic for the little ones. Yes I kind of cheated and ordered this dish more for me, considering I knew that my arancini was to be shared!
Their Mocha was a bit below average. Again perhaps because I've now been spoilt by the high standard of coffee in Melbourne.
I love the "Coffee is my life" detail on the saucer!
Bottled orange juice was $3.50 a bottle which is quite reasonable for a cafe.
They had an awesome display of desserts, which is what prompted us to order small meals instead of their larger selection of mains which included steak, risottos, salads, burgers and even lamb shanks.
I haven't made macarons for a while and the Macaron Monster of course requested some of their very colorful macarons. Not a fantastic choice unfortunately, as the macarons had rather dry and hard shells, a fairly solid filling, and ate more like a cookie despite us resting the macaron to bring it back to room temperature.
Chocolate Orange and Bubblegum flavoured Macarons.
I'm still trying to figure out how to infuse bubblegum flavour into the filling...
Macaron Monster had trouble just biting into it - they were more than 5cm in height! The inside showed really thick crust and a crumbly centre. It is saying something when my Macaron Monster refuses to finish a macaron....... and they cost $2.90 each!
Ample parking and proximity to the Playdays Play Centre makes this a very attractive spot for families, hopefully we can see consistency in the food and service, and finally this area might have a "keeper" of a cafe.
Eat.Play.Shop. Recommends : having lunch here after a morning of play next door.
Give it a Miss : oh most definitely those macarons!