Now Open: Cantina Carolina

Sunrise spaghetti, espresso and Italian café fare on Toorak Road

Toorak Road South Yarra’s latest culinary addition is Cantina Carolina by Joe Mammone, Marco Tenuta and Michael Badr (Bar Carolina, Il Bacaro and newly opened Marameo), a relaxed Italian café delivering casual breakfast and lunch within the bustling Carolina precinct.

 

Carbonara Tartufata


Served from 7am, Cantina’s menu starts the day with signatures like Carbonara Tartufata – spaghetti alla chitarra with confit yolk, pancetta, pecorino, pepper and truffle – sure to convert South Yarra locals to pasta for breakfast. Those looking for brunch classics can choose from dishes such as:

 

·      Torta di ricotta – ricotta hotcake, pistachio, rhubarb and vanilla jam, mascarpone

·      Bruschetta – whipped ricotta, heirloom tomato, poached egg, prosciutto di Parma, parmigiano, balsamic

·      Pannacotta al miele – fig and almond granola, seasonal poached fruits

 

Cotoletta alla Milanese


For lunch, patrons can graze on antipasti such as ricciola al caffe – coffee-cured kingfish, beetroot, shallots, goat curd – and small plates like melanzane alla parmigiana – eggplant, tomato sauce, parmigiano – before twirling their way through hearty pastas and larger plates. Likely favourites include:

 

·      Spaghetti con polpette – long pasta, veal and mortadella meatballs, tomato, basil

·      Tagliatelle al frutti di mare – ribbon pasta, seafood marinara, garlic, chilli

·      Cotoletta alla Milanese – crumbed chicken breast, Italian slaw, charred lemon

·      Porchetta fi maiale – rolled pork belly, roasted fennel, mustard fruit, radicchio

 

From behind the bar are served robust espressos from Lavazza and teas from Chamellia, juices and smoothies playfully named after Italy’s most respected painters and sculptors. Boasting all-day licensing, there is a wide variety of Australian and Italian wines available by the glass and carafe. Wine connoisseurs also have the opportunity to select from the neighbouring Bar Carolina’s cavalry of drops.

 

Tiramisù classico


Afternoon dessert cravings can be remedied with tiramisù classico and Sicilian-style cannoli on the Dolci list. With sunny, street-lining tables, sweets are best savoured in the sun.

 

Interiors from Chris Connell Design are light and airy, with beauty in the details. A minimal palette of bright white and blonde wood is elevated through texture, with timber panelling, perforated steel and speckled terrazzo tiling.

 

Complementing sleek service next door at Bar Carolina and sophisticated cocktails and grazing upstairs at Tetto di Carolina, Cantina Carolina provides the perfect casual offering for Toorak Road’s most beloved corner.

 

Cantina Carolina

● Address: 48 Toorak Road, South Yarra VIC 3141

● Instagram: @cantinacarolina

● Opening hours: Daily, 7am–4pm


Images: Pete Dillon