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Lava in Balaclava Restaurant

Home > Melbourne > Breakfast | Cafes | Dinner | Lunch | Restaurants
Published April 30th 2014
You'll lava the variety
Busy Carlisle Street is home to some of the coolest restaurants and cafés on this side of the city, with Lava in Balaclava being among them.

Interesting artwork lines the walls, with one of the most eye-catching pieces being two panoramic photographs of the shops on Carlisle Street, by evening light. As well as framed artworks, the walls also bear a collage of posters.

lava in balaclava carlisle
Panoramic photographs of Carlisle Street. Image: Lava in Balaclava.

While the food at Lava in Balaclava is perhaps not as unique as some of the nearby places to grab a bite to eat, such as Ziggy's and YoChi, it has one important drawcard: its opening hours. From the wee hours of the morning until late in the night, Lava in Balaclava is open for business. Their doors are open almost every day of the year, Christmas Day being one of the rare occasions when shut up shop.

When my friend and I went for lunch on a public holiday, Lava in Balaclava was one of the few places on Carlisle Street that was open. They were reasonably busy, but has enough staff on that service was speedy.

lava in balaclava
Our meals from Lava in Balaclava.


lava in balaclava schnitzel fingers
Schnitzel fingers from Lava in Balaclava.

At about $17, the schnitzel fingers were a little disappointing in terms of value. For that price, I expected that there might be more than five pinkie-sized fingers beside the smattering of chips and salad. However, I had no complaints about the flavour of the schnitzel fingers, which were crunchy and hardly oily at all.

lava in balaclava wrap
Chicken wrap from Lava in Balaclava.

My friend ordered the chicken wrap, which also came served with fries. At about $15, the wrap was much better value than the schnitzel fingers, and included a hearty selection of salad vegetables inside the wrap.

On a previous occasion, I have also had the chicken wrap, which I thought was nothing special but rather filling, and one of the cheapest items on the menu. Most of their dishes are quite basic, with a selection of pizza, pasta, burgers and more. With something for everyone, it is a family-friendly restaurant. Go late at night if you want to avoid children.

Lava in Balaclava seems to be tech-savvy, always updating their Facebook page and accepting online orders via their website for those who don't want to wait in-store. You can also book a table online.
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Why? For when you want a meal when everywhere else is shut
When: 7am until late Monday to Friday, 7:30am until late Saturday, 8am - 9pm Sunday
Phone: 9527 2205
Where: 217-219 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Cost: About $15 - $25 for a meal
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