Belle Cibo, Hampton
Food: Bruschetta, Lamb Skewers, Alla Matricina, The Grande, Strawberry Dessert Pizza
The menu at Hampton’s new Italian – Belle Cibo – is extensive (and I mean EXTENSIVE: there’s a section dedicated to chicken pizzas). It’s largely a traditional Italian menu, with a few creative surprises thrown in there, and an almost endless choice of pizza.
The venue itself is larger than you’d expect with a number of tables able to accommodate groups of 6 or more. The light wood interior and greenery wall at the back give it a modern flair, while the more classic chairs and artwork ground you in the Italian vibe. Although some staff still seemed a little new and still finding their stride, we were warmly welcomed and well looked after during our stay.
We tried to sample dishes from across the menu, starting with a couple of tapas options: the bruschetta and the lamb skewers. We thought the tapas were big portions and 4-5 of these would easily be a meal for two. The bruschetta was well loaded and the bread retained a good crisp, even after sitting while we took the photos, which was really pleasing. There was a lot of flavour on top with the sweet tomatoes being balanced out by the peppery rocket. It was just one of those perfect, classically simple Italian dishes, and it worked fantastically.
The lamb skewers came with lots of little extras on the plate which we really loved, and the lamb was tender with a little touch of spice and salt. Nothing to overwhelm if you were having this as a starter like we did, but another strong opening dish that we enjoyed. We then went on to try the grande burger and the Alla Matricina for mains.
The burger itself was a small, but chunky pair of patties with a handful of chips. The patties themselves were lovely and soft, and it really was a meat lover’s delight, with plenty of gooey melted cheese on there too. It was a little greasy towards the middle, but not to the extent it became messy to eat. It won’t be the best burger you’ve ever eaten, but given it’s clearly not their speciality it was certainly good enough and something we would try again.
The Alla Matricina was again full of those classic Italian tomato and herb combos. The sauce itself had enough flavour that the entire dish was interesting and you weren’t needing to scoop up those generous toppings with every forkful. The pasta itself could have been a little firmer but all in all it was a good solid pasta dish, and there was plenty of it. I loved the variety of the menu at Belle Cibo, but I definitely think it’s holding them back from really nailing these dishes at the moment. They’re good, but with a little more focus they could have some really stand out meals.
Finally we ended with the dessert pizza, topped with nutella and strawberries. It was the ideal size for the two of us to share after our generous meals and they balanced the sweetness well to avoid it becoming sickly. I expected to only manage a couple of mouthfuls, but I was surprised how light the dough was and how easy it was to eat. At only $8 they’re such a great way to round off your meal!
Address: 555 Hampton Street, Hampton
Mon 4pm to 10pm
Tue 4pm to 10pm
Wed 4pm to 10pm
Thu 4pm to 10pm
Fri 4pm to 10pm
Sat 4pm to 10pm
Sun 4pm to 10pm
Parking: Being on the outskirts of Hampton village, finding a street park is pretty simple!
Getting here on PT: It’s a 14 minute walk from Hampton station on the Sandringham line, or close to the 811 and 812 bus routes (alight at Hampton Street).
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Belle Cibo, Hampton. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.