Cafe Latte

12:00pm - 3:00pm
5:30pm - 10:00pm
521 Malvern Road Toorak


function hire
notable wine list

In the sleepy shopping strip of Hawksburn Village on Malvern Road, sits mainstay Cafe Latte. Step inside and be transported to southern Italy – albeit a slicker, more modern-looking version.

The vision of Italian-born Luca Lorusso; over the last 20 years Latte has become a quiet, but proven, player on the city’s Italian food scene. The interior was given a new, more polished look in 2012, but at its heart this is still essentially a neighbourhood restaurant. Staff welcome patrons inside with exclamations of “Ciao bella!” and most likely by name – it’s just that kind of place.

The restaurant is open all day, and caters to the early morning coffee patrons (with a side of creamy scrambled eggs if they have time), to long Sunday-like lunches among friends and into evenings of serving locals with quick bowls of pasta at the bar or multi-course affairs for those settling in and making a night of it.

The menu, which focuses on the southern region of Puglia, changes regularly but doesn’t make a fuss about being seasonal – it's simply taken for granted. Pasta is particularly good here. There might be a penne with lamb ragu, wine, pecorino and tomato, or spaghettini with crab and breadcrumbs. A particular favourite of locals is the braised goat, but make sure you leave room for a tiramisu and an espresso for dessert.

Cafe Latte is dining at its easiest – professional and efficient staff, a great wine list, soul-warming Italian food and that homely feeling you just can’t fake.