With friends coming over from Perth, I thought I'd give them the same wonderful experience I had at David's Restaurant on Cecil Street in Prahran, back in April. Once we got there, I remembered I had promised myself I would try the Italian restaurant opposite called La Svolta. It worked out well, as my guests, given the choice, were more interested in Italian.
A blackboard full of specials, movie and pizza nights and 'live' music nights. Keep abreast by 'liking' their Facebook page.
I had a very quick chat to Pino, one of two owners (the other is Valerio) as he was busily preparing his pizzas. Hailing from Salerno, Italy, he mentions that he used to drive a bus but had a passion for his native cuisine and between him and his friend Valerio, who shared the same passion for food, they started off doing take-aways before the 'turning point' (translation of the restaurant's name) and birth of La Svolta. They now have two restaurants - the one in Hampton is four years old and the Prahran restaurant has only been open 16 months or so. Since then they have competed in the Melbourne Pizza Festival and were the winners of the first edition of the Festival in 2012.
At La Svolta they believe eating is happiness (Mangiare é felicita ) and practically all the recipes have been handed down from family - parents and grandparents. The chefs and staff at La Svolta come from all corners of Italy, adding to the authenticity of the ambiance at the restaurant. My guests and I were certainly very happy with the atmosphere, the great service and all the food we ordered.
The melt in the mouth pizza was to die for and the polenta and the fish, amazing!
I noticed on their Facebook page that since the 2nd of July they are having Italian movie nights and $15 pizzas at the Prahran restaurant. Loving foreign movies, I think I just might have to hop back down there on a Wednesday and chomp into one of their fabulous pizzas again. They also have 'live' music on Wednesdays at Hampton and Tuesdays at Prahran.
They're at 3-5 Cecil Place in Prahran and open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday with lunch time service kept aside for pre booked functions only. You can call them on (03) 9510 3001 for bookings, but they also welcome walk-ins.
I have not been to the Hampton restaurant, but they're at 450 Hampton Street, Hampton, and they do open for lunch (unlike Prahran) from Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner from Monday to Sunday, and you can call them on (03) 9521 8990.
Speaking from my experience at the Prahran restaurant, the food is most certainly a treat for the taste buds you would not want to miss.