It’s not every day I step into a café that has its own deli!
Nevertheless, Via Porta isn’t just any café; it’s a carefully crafted 3 level establishment with years in the making. Many will remember the 4 siblings behind this venue; Ryan, Simon, Jonathan and Sarah, from their previous Balwyn café Mr Hendricks. That was literally down the road, and where they etched their name into Melbourne’s coffee culture.
It also paved the way for what was to come, which may I add- just about took my breath away. Alluded to in its name, the interior takes inspiration from Italy’s architectural history and its eminent narrow alleyways where an abundance of eateries are found. I perched myself at the curvaceous limestone counter, and was completely engrossed in the space’s elegance and richness of detail. ‘Via’ referenced by the prominent paved flooring and ‘Porta’ with the takeaway area that pays homage to the classic Italian deli.
It’s here you will find a hotchpotch of cured meats, cheese, bread, and house-made meals to take home. I could relate to Jonathan when he described the inspiration stemming from growing up with an Italian Nonna who never had an empty fridge, or kitchen table. Gathering together over food is where a family’s bond is fortified, and it’s this culture the family seek to share with the Melbourne community.
The menu is adorned with traditional Italian ingredients, and decadent flavours. Think French Toast decorated with vanilla custard, caramelised apple, speculoos, and dulce de leche.
Having grown up in the area, the Cosentino family are doing what comes naturally, and opening their ‘porta’ to the community, and emulating the goodness that shaped a culture.