Speck Cafe

7/06/2010 10:38:00 PM

Speck Cafe
2/221 Queen St
Melbourne 3000
(03) 9642-5256

Speck cafe is a little place near the corner of Queen and Lonsdale. It's run by an Italian guy who doesn't smile a lot, but is very friendly and welcoming in that uniquely Italian way. He'll often reply to you in Italian - Due caffè latte per le donne etc - but it feels natural rather than put on. Recent visits to Speck, and a Sunday-night viewing of Pane e Tulipani (one of my faves!) on TV have me wanting to revisit my old Italian books and pratica, pratica, pratica, as my Italian teacher used to admonish. Perhaps one day I'll be bold enough to order my coffee in Italian.

Speck make good coffee, and as a bonus they give you a little biscuit or brownie square with it. Depending on how stressful work is, it can sometimes be the best thing to happen to me all day. Sad but true.

Anyhoo, it was only after a few weeks of getting coffees here that I decided I really should come for lunch. It's a small space, with tables lined up against one of the walls. It gets quite busy at lunchtimes, when all the suits (myself included!) file in.

All the food is in a cabinet near the front - think homestyle food like pastas, calzones, baked eggplant, salads, fish pie. There is no menu, so you just have to wait for the owner to come around and tell you what they've got that day.

Cute peperino box - filled with salt, D'oh.

I chose meatballs...

...whilst Sandra chose the beef pasta.
The beef sauce was rich and deeply flavoured, and seemed quite Italian to me, in that the sauce coated the pasta, rather than drowning it.

As you can see above, both meals came with a bit of salad. I was a little disappointed when I saw the meatballs, as I thought they'd come with bread or some sort of carb, and the serving seemed quite small. However, the meal was deceptively filling, and despite looking small, was the perfect size for lunch.

The inside of the meatball:

Very light and tasty! I wonder if they used the soaked-bread roll trick? They were well flavoured too, with some nice herby action going on in there.

They don't display prices, so I'm not sure how much the items were individually, but it came to $25.50 for both dishes. A good option for a nice workday lunch!

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  1. meatballs are another one of those things I get mildly obsessed about :) last time my obsession came around (hmm a couple of months ago?) I ate meatballs for like 5 days straight LOL....

  2. hmm..those meatballs look pretty good. I wish Im working in the city!

  3. This sounds like my kinda cafe. I'm liking the look of the meatballs. I love melbourne. shall keep this place in mind for my next visit.



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