We had no clue about its existence, nor intention of having lunch at Vaporetto when we stumbled upon it, quite honestly, by mistake. I was bee-lining straight for a shoe shop sale, and it was just before we ducked into a cut-through from the car park, that I stopped in my tracks. I wanted to have a peek through Vaporetto’s adorable vintage blue doors. And I’m no dill. I know at that exact same moment, Hubby was silently thanking Vaporetto for having said door, to make me forget about the shoe shop.
Aside from having a cozy interior fit-out that’s a mixture of old and new, vintage and slick, quirky and classy – the venue’s music matched the vibe perfectly. And we loved listening to the bellowing Italian opera in the toilet, which nearly made the chandelier (yes, there’s a chandelier in the toilet) shake. Okay, enough about fixtures and music, let’s talk food.
We took advantage of their Summer ‘Express’ Lunch Menu which was a snazzy $35 for 2 courses, but we also grabbed a $45 for 3 courses option so we could try a desert together. Oh, did I mention the deal includes a glass of TAP wine? Wine on TAP! Never has the saying of “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” been more appropriately applied than now. But don’t let it turn you off, it’s direct from the source, and if you didn’t know – you wouldn’t know because it’s just as good as the bottled stuff. So we had the Pinot Grigio which was smooth and a perfect companion for our ‘summer’ lunch.
Hubby started off with the gold-band Snapper crudo that was sandwiched by fennel & saffron crackers, citrus, avocado cream, black sesame seeds and herb oil. The look on Hubby’s face as he gathered up his first bite with all those ingredients was one of utter happiness! He couldn’t explain it well enough: the lightness, the freshness, the flavour intensity, the texture – all so well balanced! The talent that created that dish is squarely to blame for him putting this entree into his Hall of Food Fame. And that’s saying something.
And my first dish was no less impressive: the sweetcorn & marscapone tortellini was cooked just al dente enough to make the texture enjoyable – and mixed beautifully with a flavoursome broth, Parmesan wafers, and bold hits of fresh minty goodness. This was was like eating summer in a bowl – bravo Chef!
We both had the Conchiglie dish for our main – and yet again – summer on a plate is the best way to describe this. Light on the tummy but bold on flavour; bits of pumpkin danced around with the mozzarella ‘di Bufala’, and zaps of nutmeg, lemon zest and balsamic just made the taste buds sing Hallelujah! I never knew pasta could be this good – and I feel my entire life has been gypped – for not loving it as much as I loved it this day.
And the grand finale, the Tiramisu ‘Our way’. We’ve never been big fans of ‘deconstructed’ classics, because they seem to lose their punch in the break-down process. But oh no, not this tiramisu – this little plate had more flavour than most tiramisu’s going around. Let me guide you through the process: take a spoonful of ice cream and drag it through the thick dollops of espresso, then ensure you get a bit of the mascarpone, honeycomb – and don’t forget the dusting of bee pollen and malted milk crumb – insert into mouth. Enjoy heaven.
Summer lunch indeed. There was nothing even remotely close to average, let alone negative, to say about this place. Service was amazing, food was amazing, price was amazing, atmosphere was amazing. Are you seeing a theme develop? AMAZING. So much so we’re booked in for Valentine’s Day dinner. Hallelujah! Enough said, you know what to do.
Address: Rear 681 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Victoria Australia
Tip! If you want to experience this level of bliss that’s also easy on the pocketbook, make sure to get their summer lunch menu – available on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.