Over the weekend, we tried out North Melbourne’s new cafe 5 Lire – or Cinque Lire in Italian.  It’s a cafe down Errol Street serving up authentic Italian cuisine.  There’s a tonne of natural light streaming through the entrance and the front of house staff are cool, keen, & eager to turn the place into Melbourne’s newest ‘it’ place.  If you can get past the cabinets packed full of mouth-watering pastries and paninis, there are three sections on their menu: 1) all day breakfast for the ‘Sweet Tooth’ which include their house made coconut granola, a walnut, apricot and fig fruit bread, and ricotta hotcakes; 2) ‘Savoury Bites’ including things like avocado smash on quinoa & soya toast, and smashed broad beans; & 3) ‘Lunch’ which includes antipasto, lasagna, and a range of tantalising salads.  It’s a family-friendly venue but take note – there’s not much space – so if you have an infant that can sit up independently like ours, it’s probably best to sit them on your lap rather than plough through with your pram.

 

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Fresh orange juice ($5.50) 
A cute little glass-ful which somehow made our son exceedingly happy.
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Mocha ($3.80) 
My husband really enjoyed it.
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Soy chai latte ($5)
I don’t usually order soy chai lattes but this was delicious.  Lovely and creamy and wonderfully spiced.
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Ricotta hotcakes – vanilla mascarpone, poached pear, dark chocolate & roasted hazelnuts ($14.50) 
Not the prettiest of dishes nor the tastiest of dishes I’m afraid.  Our son ended up eating around two-thirds of a hotcake with one-third of the pear.    The hotcake wasn’t particularly fluffy, the mascarpone was done chantilly-cream style, and the poached pear although tender wasn’t anything spectacular.  The roasted hazelnuts helped to emulate a ‘Nutella’ vibe but it was overall quite disappointing.
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Frittata – with mushrooms, spinach & goats curd ($14) 
This on the other hand was divine.  We were given the option whether to have it at room temperature or re-heated and what a great decision to get it re-heated.  It was served with a couple of slices of sourdough and predominantly filled with zucchini.  It was flavoured so well and a perfect dish for anyone with a gluten-free or vegetarian preference.
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Baked eggs – with chorizo, basil, tomato & chickpeas ($18) – from the specials menu 
This was really quite an extraordinary dish and one that they should really consider placing on their regular menu.  I don’t think that we’d ever had baked eggs as good as this before.  The aroma from the tomato-based sauce was absolutely divine and it tasted even better – if that’s at all possible.  The flavours and textures of the elements all melded together so well.  Fortunately, the eggs came with a couple of slices of sourdough to help us polish off every last drop of the delicious sauce.

Overall, our family had a really great time at 5 Lire.  We really enjoyed everything, bar the hotcakes,  including the welcoming vibe and the exceptional service.  And yes – one of their chefs was out the front of the cafe serving deep fried broccolini of all things!

5 LIRE / CINQUE LIRE
116 Errol Street
North Melbourne  VIC  3051
03 9329 2249

Open Wed – Fri 7 am – 3 pm; Sat – Sun 8 am – 4 pm.

5 Lire on Urbanspoon

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