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Campari House

Home > Melbourne > Restaurants | Bars | Cafes | Nightlife | Music
by Kat Cook (subscribe)
A lover of wine, books and animals (amongst a million other things), Kat resides in her Melbourne city flat with her fat bulldog, Mojo.
Published August 29th 2011
Hardware Lane's own Campari House

A glorious sunny Sunday morning calls for something a little bit special for brunch, so I opted for Campari House. Having only ever drunk at the rooftop bar, I was quite excited to try their morning fare.

I was lucky enough to snag an outside table while the sun shone down on the slightly bustling Hardware Lane. It was a good day.
A sleepy Sunday morning in Melbourne CBD's Hardware Lane

A quick glance at the menu and I decided on the Herbed Corn Fritter served with salmon, horseradish yogurt and chutney. An unusual decision to mix corn fritters with salmon; I was intrigued.

While I waited for the food to arrive, I explored the House. The ground floor of Campari House serves as the main restaurant for the venue where they serve breakfast lunch & dinner, 7 days per week.
Campari House Restaurant
A simple place to dine on modern Italian fare

Moving up the artistically graffitied stairwell, you'll found level 1 which is reserved solely for special events and private functions, catering to up to 150 of your closest friends. And Level 2 is the seductive Lounge where evening sophisticates sip their cocktails in intimate spaces amongst the opulent couches.

Before I wandered up to the rooftop, where I knew I'd lose myself in glasses of wine, I made my way back down to where my breakfast awaited. I wasn't overly pleased with what I saw unfortunately. The fritter looked like an overcooked omelette and the horseradish yogurt looked like it had been carelessly slopped onto the plate. All in all, fairly unappetizing to the critical eye. BUT I was pleasantly surprised by my first bite. The fritter was absolutely delicious and perfectly spiced. The smoked salmon was certainly an interesting choice to compliment the sweet flavour of the corn, and combined with the horseradish yogurt, it was all actually quite morish.
A poorly presented corn fritter with salmon
Looks can be deceiving sometimes

I was also lucky enough to try a bit of the poached eggs on toast served with bacon, a hash brown, avocado and mushrooms. And I have hardly any complaints about those either. Poached eggs were cooked perfectly and the homemade bread was quite delectable. But the hash brown really did not belong on a dish where everything else is so clearly made in-house and prepared with pride. It's time that reputable, self-respecting restaurants learn that hash browns are not only pre-packaged & frozen but come from chefs painstakingly grating potatoes & in fact should be coming from potatoes in their kitchen that morning.
Poached eggs on toast with the lot
A delicious breakfast despite the "hash brown"

Beyond that, I was quite pleased with my morning venture and decided to make my way up to the rooftop bar for a quick vino.

In the winter and early spring months, the heaters are switched on and the cover put up to protect patrons from the elements. It's all quite lovely on a sunny afternoon as the sun glows through the red marquee, giving everything a crimson tinge. The charming head bartender (Mick) greeted me with a smile and a friendly chat while pouring me a Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc. Really, could this day be any more perfect? Well, probably, if "hash browns" weren't involved.
Campari House Rooftop

The rooftop bar is definitely the place to go if ever you pay a visit to Campari House. Riddled with specials like $10 cocktails Mon-Wed and Comedy Trivia every Sunday afternoon featuring $10 pizzas, the rooftop bar definitely know the customer is key. And watch out--in mid-September (weather dependent) the cover comes off and free barbecue will be on offer to cater to the drinking sun worshippers of Melbourne.

And if you have a special event coming up, it's worth considering one of Campari House's venues. They have such good package deals that I wish I had something special coming up just so I'd have an excuse to throw a cool party.

Altogether, Campari House is a classy venue where you can go for tasty food, but their specialty is definitely the rooftop bar where you should be going for lively libations.
Campari House Rooftop
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Why? For anything from a classy city drink to a lazy Sunday brunch
When: Restaurant - Mon-Fri: 8am-late, Sat: 9:30am-late, Sun: 9:30am-3pm Rooftop Bar - Mon-Sat: noon-late, Sun: 2pm-late
Where: 23-25 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Cost: midrange
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