I had a lovely catch up with a friend over lunch a couple of weeks back at this old but newly refurbished Cafe la via. A cafe restaurant that I would have never discovered so close to my work place without the help of the Entertainment Book voucher. With June 1st looming around the corner soon, it may not surprise you that I would be doing a few more reviews based on the discount vouchers offered by the Entertainment Book.
It’s been a good run since I had only ordered the book at the end of 2015. At the time, I had not realized that the vouchers a period similar to the the financial year and not the calendar year. Nonetheless, thanks to the book, I have been able to explore a range of cafes and restaurants that I would not have been likely to visit otherwise.
Basil gnocchi with baby spinach, bocconcini cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic confit finished $24.50
The gnocchi that Cafe la via serves has got to be hands down one of the best gnocchi I have ever tried in Melbourne, if not the best so far.
Pillow-soft potato gems that easily melts away in your mouth, gives me great pleasure.They were so soft. My friend who was sore from just having a full set of braces on was able to enjoy the dish even though his whole mouth was sore. The sun dried tomatoes added a nice acidity to the dish while the garlic confit was aromatic, sweet but not too strong.
Soft Shell black crab on Japanese Tang Zhong bun with homemade radish and vinaigrette slaw, citrus mayo and baby herbs $17.50
Served in a buttery soft bun, the crispy soft shell black crab created a nice contrast in flavour textures couples with the tangy slaw. The soft shell crab in this burger, was pretty juicy as it was dripping down with each bite. Overall, I was really happy with the burger although it did get a little too juicy at one point.
Service was a bit slow as it took some time for someone to provide us with the menu and some water, take our order, serve us food and follow up on fixing the bill. My friend and I weren’t sure if this was just the way they went about things or whether it was because we were seating in the courtyard which I later found out to be the outdoor smoking area. It was difficult to enjoy myself as I was inhaling second hand smoke but at the point when we had realized where we were, it was a little too late to move.
I really do hope that customer service isn’t really that slow, so I plan to come back another time to try some of their other food (because it was really good and they have a great menu selection) but this time, I’d consider dining inside or out the front instead.