Via Porta serves up the flavours of Southern Italy with some wider Mediterranean influences. You can visit in the morning for breakfast and pastries, right through to the evening for antipasti and Italian-leaning mains.
Early in the day, dishes include boiled eggs in a panko crumb crust, accompanied by pumpkin puree, sourdough toast, ham hock and candied walnuts. There’s also fried eggs in a spicy Arrabiata sauce, given a lift with ‘nduja, garlic and peppers; and beef brisket toasties with house-made kimchi, crushed broccoli, mozzarella and spicy mayonnaise.
There’s a full collection of French-and Italian-influenced baked goods too, which are prepared at Via Porta Bakehouse in Hawthorn. The bakery supplies carb components for the cafe menu, such as a brioche-croissant hybrid (“briont”) for French toast, served with poached pears, almond crisp, caramel sauce and crème Anglaise.
As the sun sets, Via Porta transforms into an Italian-leaning diner serving up share-friendly antipasti, pasta and meat-driven mains. There are snacky plates of arancini, king fish crudo, and prosciutto and melon. For mains, go for crab spaghetti with saffron sauce or chicken cacciatore with creamy polenta. And to finish, it’s got to be creamy tiramisu.
To drink, there’s coffee from Five Senses and a rotating cadre of guest roasters, local and Italian wines by the glass or carafe to pair with salumi.
Wrap up your visit with a pit stop at the deli fridge, which holds some 50 Australian and Italian cheeses, charcuterie and a rotating menu of prepared meals to take home, such as chicken cacciatore and eggplant parmigiana.
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