Cucinetta

Thursday
12:00pm - 10:00pm
4 3 Murphy Street South Yarra 3141

Menu

Features

outdoor area
licensed
reservations recommended
Italian

In northern Italy dining out means discovering tiny family restaurants where nonna is the chef and there’s never a menu. Everyone just eats whatever nonna makes.

So it goes at Cucinetta – albeit with a bit more choice. There are just four entree and four main course options and they change every week. The formula is always the same: one meat, one fish, one vegetarian pasta and one meat pasta.

There’s no freezer on site, or even a cool room. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat arrive each morning, in time for the day’s service. With just two chefs in the cucinetta (“tiny kitchen”), creativity and versatility are key.

The restaurant itself takes intimate to a new level. At a mere 29-square metres, it’s a similar size to a car space. It’s possible to come for dinner and chat with every other customer there. At times it feels like a dinner party with surprise guests.

The wine list is snappy and predominantly Italian. Five whites, five reds, one prosecco and one rosé are all served in tumblers – because that’s how they do it in Italy. Negronis or Aperol Spritzes are also available, and there’s always a bottle of grappa on standby.