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Fatto Bar and Cantina

Home > Melbourne > Bars | Cocktail Bars | Dinner | Nightlife | Restaurants
by Ali Hawkins (subscribe)
I'm keen to share things that I've done with others - I love learning about culture and history, I know the importance of great service, good quality products and positive experiences. I love to experience life's opportunities. I live in Melbourne.
Published August 3rd 2014
Totally Italian relaxed and delicious - magnifico
On a cold Melbourne winter night, it's great to step into a warm, informal and friendly restaurant - I can relax, take my coat off and just hang out. That's how it is at Fatto Bar and Cantina – yes, it's a curious name – when I tell friends I'm going to be eating here, almost everyone greets that with a look of quizzical confusion … me too. But nevertheless, the name spikes my interest.

Fatto is located at Hamer Hall, Southbank. It's very easy to find and the location is great. Although it's called a cantina, that name is a little deceptive - it's an Italian eatery.

Floor to ceiling windows offer all guests – whether in the bar on the left for drinks, or the cantina on the right for food – a magnificent view of the Melbourne skyline and the Yarra - spectacular with the city lights after dark. A view not to be beaten – particularly when the weather is wintery outside and the atmosphere is warm within. I can watch as the weather rolls by, but not be part of it.

Along with the entire relaxed vibe, the tables are open, seating is comfortable and friends sit and chat while the waiters buzz around professionally and informally.

Cocktails offered are fruity - Peach, Orange, Lime, Cranberry, Lemon – all a very reasonable $12 and there are beers and a good selected wine list. My companion and I sit and enjoy cocktails. Although it's not on the menu, they happily make me a Bloody Mary – it's spicy and beautiful, served generously. My companion has the first of several wine selections – they are all good – a sparkling white at first, delivered to us quickly.

In the mood for a relaxed meal, we know this is the right place for it. We begin with Grilled Vegetables with Mozzarella Di Buffala and Basil. This is delicious. Although the menu is not extensive, all the offerings are good – we can tell from the first course, the ingredients are fresh and flavour balance is divine. Other entrιe or snack sized offerings are bread, pork/veal sausage, octopus or Wagyu beef carpaccio with truffle.

Fatto, Restaurant, Southbank

The waiters are obviously accustomed to serving guests on their way to the theatre or a show at the Arts Centre. They haven't asked us, but their air of "efficiency" leads us to believe they'll serve us quickly if we let them … so we suggest they can take their time and we will do the same. We linger over our entrees for a while and they get the message – there is a nice, but not extensive, gap before our main course arrives.

For this course we enjoy a serving of Arancini – Smoked Salt Cod, Mimolette, Herb Aioli - beautifully served. My companion has Orecchiette with Broccoli , Anchovy, Chilli, Guanciale and Walnuts and my choice is the Market Fish – today is Barramundi – with Wild Greens, Seasonal Vegetables and Lemon. The fish is good, the "greens" are of wilted spinach and a layered potato bake.

Fatto, Restaurant, Southbank
Barramundi with wind greens, vegetables and lemon

Our side dishes are the Insalata Verde - Iceburg, Fennel, Citrus, Black Pepper and Brussel Sprouts - Bacon, Pinenuts, Ricotta Salata. The winner here is the Brussel Sprouts – they are lovely. The nuts and ricotta make the dish a bit special and the sprouts themselves are a little hidden in the overall effect – it's great.

Fatto, Restaurant, Southbank
Winning Brussel Sprouts

Pasta dishes to select from are Orecchette, Pasta Formaggi, Spaghettini and Gnocchi with Rabbit, other mains are Chicken Cotoletta, Slow cooked Lamb, Sirloin with Chili – with other sides of Caramelised Cauliflower or Rosemary Chips.
We didn't get to the Dolci – but all the favourited are here Gelato, Pannacotta, Cannoli, Crostata, Crostini or Formaggi – several with liqueur flavourings.

It's a truly Italian experience and very enjoyable. The menu is so good, I really will come back to try some other things.

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Why? A truly relaxed and enjoyable Italian experience
Phone: 03 8698 8800
Where: River Terrace, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
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