Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cavallero, Collingwood

This morning, in an effort to dodge the Grand Prix crowds, I headed North to Cavallero, 300 Smith Street, Collingwood, Tel +61 3 9417 1377. Actually, Cavallero sounds alot like the name of an Italian playboy-slash-f1-racing-driver. And, would you believe it, there was indeed a Cavallero who drove for Alfa-Romeo back in 1933, although he was no match for Nuvolari.


Cavallero the cafe performed much better than Cavallero the driver. It was, however, an Alfa-like performance. Lots of style. Not quite so much substance. But nonetheless seductive.

The menu is loaded with temptation: panettone french toast with rasberry marscapone and rosewater syrup; black rice pudding, fresh mango and coconut custard ("awesome" according to a tip from Penny); and avocado, roast garlic, caramelised chili and lemon on rye toast. My order of potato and fetta pancake with silician style beans, poached eggs and dukkah sounded good on paper. But it wasn't rave-worthy. The Sicilian beans are worth trying, but I still don't get the dukkah fad.

Cavallero's real strength is the slick venue, with all-white paint job, high ceilings and a solitary deer's head stuck on the wall. There's a great mix of seating, with tall stools along the green marble bar, some small tables up front, a couple of booths in the middle, and a communal table at the rear.

16/20 "black rice pudding"


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Cavallero, shortly after it opened for an afternoon pot of tea. My (black) tea was served in a very beautiful teapot - that had previously been used to serve herbal tea. Hmmm. Peppermint in my Darjeeling. Yuck-o. Yes, lot's style, substance lacking.

21/3/07 15:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cavallero is cool!!

When describing this place to friends I always say the menu reads like an ala carte breakfast menu!! Have had some wonderful breakfasts here!! I tend to stick to the omelette's which are divine, for example pecorino, asparagus and jamon, or roasted cherry tomatoes and goats curd!! But always end up kicking myself when my more adventurous partner's dish comes out, stand-outs being five spice baked eggs served with a fig conserve and pomegranate salad (which he continues to rave about) and a baked egg and salmon dish served in a ramekin which I wish I could better describe!!

The only qualm is the ever-changing menu, which is also a positive, but sometimes I'll go back for a dish I absolutely love and it's no longer on the menu the following week!! But hey it's always replaced with something equally mouth watering!!!

The only other thing is I wish they did brekkie all day, I think it finishes at 12?? Which has on occasion left me and my bleary eyed pals pretty disappointed until we remember Mario's does brekkie all day!!

30/4/08 18:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah ha!! Reading your review of circa I realised what the salon dish was!! It was a smoked salmon croque monsieur!!

30/4/08 19:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse the typo, Salmon!! Salmon, Salmon, Salmon!! Right I think I have it now!!

30/4/08 19:11  
Blogger Manu said...

Cavallero is indeed a cool wee spot....fantastic coffee....a great selection of cakes if you feel like something sweet post your breaky consumption and pretty tasty food BUT could the service being anymore pretentious??? Everytime I go I have a bad experience with the staff. They are either rude, vacant, unfriendly or seem too cool for school. I keep going back though in the bid that one day one of the waiters will be friendly and polite and crack a smile for me.

12/11/08 21:54  
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