28 Southgate Ave,
Sun – Sat: Noon -3pm, 5pm – 10pm
“New Year’s resolutions. Often people make them, rarely people stick to them, and it would appear this year I was one of those people. My New Year’s resolution for 2016 was to consistently deliver a blog to my lovely readers (psst! That’s you!), rather than fall into the terrible trap of getting busy at work and lazy on weeknights / weekends. It was all going swimmingly up until about late April, early May until I realised that – uh-oh! – I’m breaking my self commitment to you all. So it is with heavy heart that I draw my mind back to a visit I made some weeks back to a rather large café restaurant in Southgate – Tutto Bene.
Tutto Bene is a casual Italian restaurant that has recently undergone some heavy duty expansions to include its very own Gelateria (yes! You’ve heard right!) and onto a terrace that overlooks Southbank. Dining capacity has increased from 90 people to a whopping 150 people and includes a communal dining booth. The venue interior was what you would expect for a classic Italian restaurant with lots of dark, heavy woods that were inspired by Italian architect, Carlo Scarpa. There are hints of brass and copper accents and the Gelateria was adorned with hand painted tiles.
The cafe relaunch also explores a unique new Italian style all-day breakfast menu and it was this welcome addition that Brunch Addict was invited to come and come try. Head chef Nathan Scarfo has over 12 years’ experience working across well-known Melbourne venues. “In Italy when you have a chance to eat breakfast, it is always on the go. Our new breakfast menu focuses on serving delicious breakfast morsels, fast. Even the egg dishes on our menu can be cooked in 2.5 minutes,” says Scarfo.
The coffee here is by Sensory Lab with a rotating single origin. On this occasion I was with my friend Prathmesh and we decided to go with the Chef’s recommendation for the breakfast menu. What we ended up with was Poached eggs, beetroot and grappa cured salmon with fried potato gratin [$14], Frittata – roast pumpkin, goats cheese & caramalised shallots [$8] and Cornetti Ripieni – Italian filled ‘croissant’ [$10] – one with prosciutto cotto & stracciatella and one with funghi misti & stracciatella. To top it all off we were also treated to some Canolli [$5 each] with vanilla bean gelato, pistachio and Callebaut chocolate gelato fillings. What a feast!
When mains came out, the plating was attractive however I did notice that portions sizes were a touch smaller than I was anticipating. The poached eggs dish was quite nice overall but not particularly mind blowing. The eggs were petite which led me to think that they were organic, and they were rich and gooey inside. The yolk was bright orange and sweet, a nice match to the potato gratin which was compact but delicious. The dish that I thoroughly enjoyed at Tutto Bene was the Cornetti Ripieni. Served cold, these tasty little treats were something else! I had the one with the prosciutto cotto in it and it was a mix of textures and temperatures. The croissant-style exterior was flaky and perfectly crunchy despite its filling. The stracciatella was cold and creamy and a lovely combination with the almost ham-like prosciutto cotto. While the meat-based options were good, the vegetarian options was even better and definitely my preference! The funghi misti was seasoned perfectly and complimented the stracciatella like a match made in heaven.
The cannoli’s here were also magnificent! The external pastry was thick and sweet and both the vanilla bean and the chocolate filling were delightful. I couldn’t believe they were gelato, with the custard-like texture of the filling. Both were incredibly rich and having two really pushed my limits!
Overall, I found Tutto Bene to be a wonderful surprise. From the outside, it probably wouldn’t have been a venue I would have tried on my own. However, now that I’ve dined there, they have totally won me over. It’s a great place to stop for a quick bite to eat (Italian style!) and I would definitely recommend it if you are in the Southbank area and looking for something to eat.”
Final thought: “Great pit stop for those in the area”