Baby Cafe and Pizzeria

Oh Baby! You’ve become a bit of a regular thing for me.  I do live close by and I’ve come to appreciate eating on your terrace in the sunshine as the Church street traffic hums past or sitting perched up at your bar and watching the chefs at work.  I even enjoy using your toilets just to laugh at the learning Italian tape that plays on permanent repeat and which my sister thought was your staff nattering away in Italian.

Prosciutto pizza at Baby 

I’ve got a weakness for your wine list and like that you can order Yabby Lake wines which are especially made for you by the carafe.  I also like how your sommelier gave me a great recommendation for a Nero d’Avolo and how his apron says “Wine Guy”.

Baby’s signage and outdoor terrace

At first I wasn’t blown away by your food like I was at your sibling restaurant Chin Chin.  It doesn’t have that wow factor and it reminds me a lot of what places like Ladro or Fire Chief have been doing for a while.  But I have to admit your pizzas are pretty flawless with pliant doughy base with a hint of smokiness to them from the woodfired oven.  I’ve really fallen head over heels when it comes to your prosciutto pizza ($18.50) with it’s folds of salty prosciutto, oozing fior di lattte cheese and topping of rocket.

Penne ragu at Baby

Your pastas are such good value for money that I find them hard to resist.  I love that $18 buys a huge plate of slow cooked penne ragu.  The best bargain on your menu though has to be the meatballs ($16.50) which come bleeding their napoli sauce into a puddle of rich, yellow polenta. It’s brilliant comfort food.

Iceberg salad at Baby

My favourite thing on your menu might just be the simplest – your iceberg salad ($9.90) with the lettuce cut into wedges and lightly topped with fronds of dill and some grated reggiano.  It’s made me herald the resurgence of the daggy lettuce overlooked for so long in favour of fancy rocket and baby spinach.

Meatballs with polenta at Baby

What I don’t love about you is your fickleness.  Sometimes I can stroll right in and get a table straight away but other times your no booking policy means there is a two hour wait and I really can’t be bothered with that and so I have to go elsewhere.

The cake cabinet at Baby 

But I think it might all be part of your allure though really Baby.  Your owner Chris Lucas is a bit of a marketing genius and seems to know how to treat them mean and keep them keen.

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Details: Baby Cafe and Pizzeria, 631-633 Church St  Richmond 3121 (Ph 03 9421 4599) Open 7am -11pm.
Damage: Reasonable

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  1. That outdoor terrace looks very appealing, and all of these dishes look like they’re prepared properly and with fresh ingredients. Both of which make a huge difference when eating! The long queues at times are less good though…but I suppose reflect popularity 🙂

  2. The pizza and the dessert cabinet would have had me in a flash but the meatballs with polenta WOW! Looks gorgeous, I may have to pull up a chair alongside of you 😉

  3. Haha, love how you wrote this! Pretty much drooling over the polenta and meatballs, look and sound amazing! And that cake cabinet, that twirl of meringue has caught my attention!

    Does Baby usually just get busy at peak hours? Or can it be a bit hit and miss? Suggestions on best times to pop in?

  4. Kari – Yes the queue is the only real downside

    Gourmet Getaways – Those meatballs with polenta are serious comfort food – will be great in winter.

    Ashley – Sure if you go outside peak hours you are safe – it’s just dangerous to rock up at 8pm on a Friday night you will be waiting for hours. Try 6pm to 7pm or even just a Tuesday or Wednesday night. Lunch time you can generally walk straight in.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! Will probably try a weeknight sometime then! 🙂

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