It was so good, it called for a mandatory second consecutive day visit with family and friends in tow.
Pure Italian café stands unpretentiously on the corner of Belmore and Balwyn Road (249B Belmore Road, Balwyn North). You can easily overlook its unimposing exterior. The interior is inviting with long timber communal tables or small round ones like those in Italian piazzas. The small room bustles with loads of activity of staff and customers interacting. On the second visit, being a Saturday morning, we were assured there were more tables to choose from in the second room just a few steps down, which housed the main kitchen at the rear. Though choosing a table at the back of the second room for privacy and space, we were not forgotten.
While the usual eggs, toast and breakfast paraphernalia were on offer, please do try the signature ricotta fritters with mixed berry syrup. It is a delightful hybrid of lightly battered fried cheese and the wafting smell of fresh donuts. The berry syrup not too sweet, just right. My companion is lactose intolerant, but devoured every mouthful.
Porridge with coconut chips
The breakfast porridge with rhubarb, banana and coconut chips warmed the soul while forgetting the wind battering on outside.
The pragmatic sense of décor, embellishing wall shelves and mantle pieces with packets of pasta, flour and olive oil, provides an eclectic ambiance mix of being at Nona's kitchen table and in a hip Melbourne laneway café.
The counter is not well positioned, causing patron traffic amongst customers paying and those ordering takeaway. Staff were a little flustered and there were a few coffee order confusions, but everyone seemed happy to wait and remained polite; a nice change.
A minimum of an hour is recommended if you are considering paying Pure Italian a visit to ensure you have sufficient time and the right frame of mind to soak up the atmosphere, though you will find a quick stop over is just as pleasing.