Time Out says
A feature on Glenferrie Road since 1999, Caffe La Via is back after a reboot
Having taken time out for a spot of reinvention, Caffe La Via unveiled a makeover and an invigorated menu late last year.
The new look works. Dark ceilings bring swarthy worldliness, banquette seating allows you to comfortably sink in, and the fireplace, with its elongated chimney breast, forms a floor-to-ceiling exclamation mark.
There’s a lot to be said for giving people what they want, and the new menu – that swings easily between breakfast to dinner and everything in between – prioritises familiarity. Which is not to say that it shuns food trends: goji berries, edible flowers, charcoal buns and elaborate milkshakes sit alongside pizze, steaks, pasta, salads, burgers and even BYO (build your own) chicken parmigiana.
The Double Wolfer Burger is well worth – wait for it – wolfing down. Two wagyu beef patties, looking charmingly homemade and rustic, are sandwiched between sweet buns and accompanied by caramelised onions, bacon, lettuce and a couple of slices of cheese. They get it just right – and if you can, wield your cutlery adroitly to carve yourself a cross-section containing a taste of everything. For an extra $4.50 you can add chips, and you’ll want to. Standing pertly to attention in a mini wire basket, they’re thick, fluffy and have the perfect amount of chippie crunch. Resistance is futile.
A warm prawn salad is petite and pleasant. Chubby prawns are spiced with cumin, coriander, paprika and arranged on a thick yoghurt tahini sauce. Next to them is a warm fennel (cooked until soft and sweet) and chickpea salad dusted with dukkah.
The wait staff are young and well meaning but don’t always hit the mark, perhaps overenthusiastic at times and then blasé. But that shouldn’t deter anybody from checking out the rebirthed Caffe La Via. It won’t knock your Vans off, but sometimes you simply want well-prepared food in a comfortable environment. And a jumbo shake. Caffe La Via will give you exactly that; plus it’s the only café serving St Ali Sensory Lab coffee on the strip.