Cafe Terroni– The Overview…
Food: Fritto Misto, meatballs, gnocchi alla Norma, orecchiette, banana and butterscotch crepes
We visited Cafe Terroni early in the evening, yet even so it was quickly filling up. First step was to grab a drop from their delicious wine list. Owner, Joe, is a serious wine lover and he manages to source some beautiful, yet affordable wines from classic wine regions all over the globe. We tried the Dr L Riesling which was a special for that week. While it smelt slightly sharp, from the first sip it was so smooth and light, a real enjoyable wine and one you’ll definitely be wanting a second (and third) glass of.
To eat we ordered a mix of their specials and permanent menu items. We normally avoid specials as they change so often, but on hearing they’re some of Cafe Terroni’s most popular dishes, we felt we couldn’t miss out on trying some. These dishes take advantage of seasonal produce available locally, and allow the chefs to include dishes that they couldn’t guarantee to have available all year.
We started with the fritto misto. A huge plate of prawns, calamari and flash fried white bait. We loved the freshness of all the seafood on here and it was such a generous entree, plenty to share. The calamari was a particular highlight – thinly cut with a light batter and a delicious, subtle sweetness. The white bait was simply done, but as always it is such an enjoyable fish to eat.
The main menu consists of firm family favourites, remaining unchanged in the entire 10 year history of Terroni, and newer, seasonally rotating dishes to bring in new and creative ideas from the chef. We tried the gnocchi alla Norma and the orecchiette (a special) – with peas, garlic, chilli and pork sausage.
The orecchiette is a very Italian dish and is the kind of flavour combo you’d find in a Roman pasta bar. The small pasta discs had a nice firmness and there was lots of flavour running through from the fresh chilli. The pork sausage was soft and juicy and a nice creative addition to a pasta dish. This is exactly the kind of dish we’d try to make at home with the light sauce and flavour created from the fresh ingredients. It doesn’t have the traditional richness of many Italian dishes and is a refreshing change, we loved it.
The gnocchi was more of a simple traditional dish. The individual gnocchi were light pillows and we liked how they were all fairly large. Made in house this dish has lots of love built in. The sauce was really rich and chunky which made the dish feel even more filling. The soft eggplant almost fell apart as you were picking it up and was generously scattered throughout the dish. It’s one of those dishes where the sauce can make or break it, as there’s not much else going on and thankfully this thick, well flavoured sauce really made the dish shine.
We ended with the banana and butterscotch crepes. (Too full to squeeze in a dessert each). Drenched in butterscotch sauce we were worried it would be sickly sweet, but the sauce is quite mild with an almost smokey flavour to offset the sweetness. The crepes were paper thin and reminiscent of childhood favourites. The butterscotch and banana were just the dream classic combo and while not traditionally Italian it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice.
In increasingly popular Yarraville, Cafe Terroni has quite a bit of competition, but the constant stream of customers throughout the night do well to highlight what an excellent venue it is, and what a delicious menu they have to offer.
Address: 18 Ballarat Street, Yarraville
Mon 5:30pm to 10pm
Tue 5:30pm to 10pm
Wed 5:30pm to 10pm
Thu 5:30pm to 10pm
Fri 5:30pm to 10pm
Sat 5:30pm to 10pm
Sun 5:30pm to 10pm
Parking: There’s plenty of short stay car parking nearby. Even on the day we visited when we needed an all day park and there were several roads closed we still parked easily within 5 minutes walk.
Getting here on PT: It’s just a few minutes walk from Yarraville train station.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Cafe Terroni, Yarraville. 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.