We’re avowed fans of winter and the hearty food being dished up. The sharpness of the air and increased walking pace demand proper sustenance. Café Amalia, which opened its doors at the end of May, has plenty to offer in this regard.

Run by owner Christian Janko alongside Frenchman Jean Noel Langlet, Café Amalia is a small but classy venture. The two were both long-time employees of South Yarra institution France Soir, so come with an excellent pedigree. Entering its doors is akin to visiting a friend’s tasteful home, filled with stained glassed window panels, high ceilings, scrubbed wood floors, fresh flowers and wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. There is a bistro-style area up front with plush black leather seating and elegant fixtures, leading into a corridor and two further dining rooms, including the Royal Room for larger groups and culinary aristocrats. The walls of the cafe will also play host to rotating exhibitions - currently David Disher's works are on show. There are also plans to add a courtyard dining area come spring.

The menu is presented by the friendly, attentive staff, who look the part in their Uash Mama aprons. There is much autumnal and wintry bounty to be found, including a particularly satisfying lamb shank pie. Daily specials, shared plates, interesting soups, gourmet baguettes, vibrant salads, a strong wine list and even stronger coffee – combined with a warm ambience – provides a perfect seasonal sanctuary.

Thursday and Friday nights are dedicated to that ultimate French indulgence, cheese and wine.

Café Amalia
1d Rose Street, Armadale
(03) 9822 7753

Mon to Wed 7am–4pm
Thurs to Fri 7am–9pm
Sat 7am–5pm

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