If you’re in the South Melbourne vicinity, stock up on some fruit and vege at the market, then head across the road to Caffe Panette to replenish your energy. The coffee is good, and there is one dish in particular that blows my socks off.
We were in the area last weekend as I had a voucher to spend at the Coventry Street Bookshop. The voucher was a farewell gift from work and naturally I bought cookbooks! I was terribly indecisive, flicking through most of the cook books there while the Boys waited patiently. We were all starving by the time I decided and headed to Panette for some lunch.
The Boys had the homemade gnocchi bologna veal and pork sauce with red wine, tomatoes and fresh herbs ($15.90 for the main size). This is what I tend to eat when I go to Panette. And seriously – it’s the best gnocchi (the Boys agree). The gnocchi is light, delicate and fluffy plus the bolognaise sauce is rich and meaty. God, I could rave about it for ages. I didn’t order it on this occasion but I kept stealing pieces from Alastair’s plate. I should’ve just ordered my own, really.
Instead I had the white chicken salad with poached and sliced chicken breast with saffron kipfler potatoes, taragon mayonaise and salad greens ($14.90 for the main size). The potatoes were hidden under the salad greens, and as you can see there was no skimping with the chicken! This was a good salad – a little bit too much mayo for my liking, (and it wasn’t the gnocchi) but I soldiered on and enjoyed it anyway. :p
If you order lunch, they bring you bread and butter, which is a nice touch. Service can seem a tad abrupt during busy market days, but one bite of that gnocchi and any minor quibbles are forgotten.