Our affinity for alfresco dining knows no bounds and our hunger to find the best place to dine outside in gardens, sidewalks and rooftops means we’re always on the look out for the next best place. Well, look no further than a beautiful rooftop at Santoni Pizzeria and Bar. Rooftop Alfresco dining has really been the domain of establishments in the city and bayside but Santoni has made inroads with expanding this delight to those in the suburbs. Located in Hawthorn, the restaurant’s rooftop provides for views of the CBD as well as providing respite from the bustling happenings of Glenferrie Road.
Santoni’s three level eatery with a rooftop bar, has previously opened for lunch and dinner but as of last month has officially opened for breakfast. The breakfast menu extends on a wonderful menu that features a beautiful range of Italian fare. Unlike many new restaurants opening up around town, Santoni’s breakfast menu provides a plethora of choices to visitors and it covers sweet and savoury dishes – there will definitely be something to tickle your fancy.
Dishes have been constructed with great thought, mixing different flavours together and turning simple breakfast dishes into something just a bit special. For example, every breakfast place around town has avocado on toast with usually goats cheese or feta, however Santoni version is just a bit different with the addition of a cucumber tomato salad, brick pastry wrapped king prawn, Meredeth feta, pistachio dukkah & sourdough. The surprising addition of the brick pastry wrapped king prawn brings a crunch and sweetness to the dish whilst the cucumber tomato salad adds an element of freshness.
The menu also extends to include a few heartier dishes than the norm but if you’re like me who has brunch and then nothing until dinner, sometimes a heartier dish is more attractive! Santoni have the Mick Adams Cheeky Charlie Burger – Soft shell crab, coriander, pickled cucumber, radish, Spanish onion, chilli jam, iceberg lettuce & aioli and the Sweet corn mac and chesse, braised lamb shank, salsa verde & herbed pangrattato and the Agrodolce porkbelly, Asian slaw, cured beetroot, crispy shallots, fried egg & chipotle mayo that provide something a bit more substantial or just even a break from your traditional breakfast fare.
What caught my eye were the words mac and cheese, so based on that alone I selected the braised lamb shank. I was not disappointed. The lamb shank was cooked perfectly so that the meat just fell off the bone and the herbs and spices used to braise the shank made the meat luscious and fragrant. The mac and cheese with the sweet corn was just perfect with the shank. The consistency of the sauce was right and the corn just gave the mac and cheese a lovely sweet crunch.
Of course, I would have been disappointed if there were no breakfast pizza’s one the menu but luckily that pizza oven gets fired up early with two pizzas on offer – one without meat that has spinach, onion, peppers, mozzarella and egg, and the other with bacon, onion, mushrooms, fried egg, chilli and tomatoes.
The menu also delves into the world of sweets with French Toast and also muesli but it is mainly savoury. I have to say it’s probably one of the more exciting breakfast menus that I’ve seen lately but I am one of those that loves a savoury breakfast. Plus the coffee is excellent, including their special cold brew supplied by Code Black.