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Espresso Vivere Cafe, Bar & Restaurant

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by Melbournefreelancer (subscribe)
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Published November 24th 2012
A nice place to dine in South Morang
There's one in every establishment, isn't there? I mean the one who tries to look over your head instead of your face, sneer instead of smile, says "won't be a second" and leaves you idling while she turns around to do something terribly inconsequential; you know what I mean. There's one of those in Espresso Vivere. Others make up for it somewhat with their valiant being-at-ease-with-the-customer-or-die-trying attempts. The lady who served us was a sweetheart and this doesn't apply to her.

The place is not hard to find as it is located just off Plenty Road in the Axis Homemaker Centre. The restaurant/bar/café as it likes to be called is rather spacious and well-lit. They have a covered outdoor area that may be great for a private group celebration.

The brightly coloured menu had a small yet interesting selection of light bites like garlic bread and bruschetta, chips, dips, wedges, and salads to mains like risotto, pasta, and, parmigiana. A few promising prospects such as the macadamia crusted chicken breast and prawn skewers caught our fancy. So we went ahead and ordered those.

And it being a pretty warm day, I thought I'd go for my usual freshly squeezed orange juice on ice, while my friend threw caution to the winds and went for the iced chocolate. The OJ was good and came in a tall glass, just how I like it. The drinks were a good idea because the food took its time coming.

When it came, the chicken breast looked like it had been saved in the nick of time from drying out completely. The pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple, and spinach came valiantly to the rescue of the poor bird and just about managed to save the day. The olive oil was very evident as almost everything on my plate kept slipping and sliding on it.

The skewered prawns were a lighter meal and presented well. More important, it also tasted reasonably good. The Thai style marinade with coriander and sweet chilli went royally with the prawns and made a good meal perfect. They have a good selection of wine to go with the mains, but it being the wrong time of the day for that indulgence we decided to give that a miss.

Espresso Vivere has a kids menu and a small selection of gluten-free options. They have a pastry counter and specialty cakes were on display which probably means they'd be able to come up with an angry bird cake if you'd wanted one. I'd meant to enquire about it but left the place wondering what it was I'd forgotten.

What I Liked
I liked the spacious interiors, the décor, and the location. I also liked that the cutlery was sparkling clean and the paper napkins were nice and thick. I liked the glass bottles in which the drinking water was served as well as the tiny vase of bright flowers on the table. All small touches but they matter for me. The food wasn't that bad either.

What I Liked Less
The service could be a bit more friendly and welcoming. They don't care that the more time you're made to wait unnecessarily makes you like them a little less with each passing second. Even a pack of friendly waiters will not be able to make up for the iciness of one individual. Yeah, I'm that touchy, especially if I'm hungry.

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Why? A good place to dine in South Morang
When: Sun 7am-5pm; Mon-Thu 6am-10pm; Fri 6am-11pm; Sat 7am-11pm
Phone: (03) 9407 1299
Where: 2/795-801 Plenty Road, South Morang VIC 3752
Cost: Depends on what you order
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