La Baia – The Overview…
Food: Antipasto Board, Lamb rack, Beef Ragu, Italian Doughnuts
The restaurant is much smaller inside than its grand exterior suggests, seating less than 50 people. The large windows are helped out by some stylish interior light fittings to give a bright environment even into the early evening, while later on the striking counter and dim lighting help create the air of a wine bar. The interior is crisp, with some nice ornate detailing on the bar adding that little bit of quirky charm! There’s a pleasant covered outside area too – definitely a nice place for drinks at sunset.
While feeling pleasantly upmarket and, despite its size, nice and spacious, it’s a welcoming environment for young families; there were many parents and children were dining while we were there. There’s plenty of choice on the menu – pastas, mains and pizza with an abundance of seafood choices to take advantage of locally available produce too. We decided to go for the antipasto board, beef ragu and lamb rack and finished with the Italian doughnuts.
The antipasto board came topped with mild salami, prosciutto and ham , two cheeses, sundried tomatoes and capsicum. There was plenty of variety and plenty to share on this bright board. While I’m not usually a fan of store bought bread sticks on a board, I’ll make an exception as I think the effect they added to the dish was totally worth it. They’re there to look fab, and add a little bit of a crunch. The light and airy foccacia more than makes up for the breadsticks. It was a real highlight of this very delicious board. Definitely add one of these to your meal even if you don’t opt for the antipasto board.
The lamb looked amazing! The dish had a slight rural Italian feel to it thanks to the lentils, with a wonderfully high class finish. The lamb was ideally cooked, medium as I’d asked for and there was lots of meat on the 4 point rack. The rosemary spring on the side was a nice touch too with the flavour infused throughout the lamb. Both the potatoes and lentils stand out in the dish and add lots of textural variety. A really great main dish!
The beef ragu had a nice richness without being overpowering. It was a simple beef and tomato based sauce, nicely flavoured but nothing out-there. The Pappardelle pasta was made really thin and very soft. There was a nice dollop of cheese on top too which helped to pull back the strength of flavour and developed it into a mild, light on the palate dish. Well made and well executed, it’s a good solid pasta dish that left us nice and full afterwards.
We squeezed in a serve of Italian doughnuts for dessert. These fried doughnuts were surprisingly light – like little pockets of air. They had quite a sweetness to them and came with chocolate drizzle and ice-cream. There was so much more to this dessert than we expected and it was a nice little high to finish on. It felt both classic Italian and also a bit of an Aussie twist. We really enjoyed this dessert!
Address: 16/123, Beaconsfield Parade , Albert Park
Tue 5pm to 10pm
Wed 5pm to 10pm
Thu 5pm to 10pm
Fri 12pm to 11pm
Sat 12pm to 11pm
Sun 12pm to 9:30pm
Parking: Look out for those permit zones nearby! Parking actually on Beaconsfield Parade is probably the easiest and closest option.
Getting here on PT: It’s about a 3 minute walk from the end of the line on the 1 tram.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of La Baia Bar and Cucina, Albert Park. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.