Eating Out / Melbourne CBD

Sunday lunch at Campari House, Melbourne CBD

Campari House
23-25 Hardware Lane
Melbourne CBD

Mr B and I had a quick lunch in the city on a Sunday recently. I was busy spending some Myer vouchers on a new whizz bang toaster for the house (the book the toaster came with spruiks such features as “pops up when toast is at desired colour”, pretty sure that means it’s done, Breville folks). Mr B was studying at his workplace because it’s filled with less distractions than home. I’d like to think he’s talking about me – oh so distracting – but deep down I know he means the fridge and pantry. I’m actually the only one in my share household who isn’t studying a Masters or PhD – because I dropped out of mine – so I see myself as the provider of toasters instead. Such is life.

I’m a bit confused about finding good lunch venues in the city on the weekends, but remembered Hardware Lane – my reasoning went, tourist traps will be open! I was planning on luring Mr B towards Hardware Societe but as we walked past Campari House people were sitting outside in the sunshine eating pizzas and the decision was out of our hands.

I’d been to Campari House for their after work drinks on a Friday (watch out, they get packed!) but never ordered food. Service seemed a little confused – we asked if we should sit down at the bar, and were told yes, the waiter will be right with you… We waited in vain for menus and glasses of water, almost to the point of giving up and going (I was a bit tetchy with a headache) but finally these were given to us. We took about two minutes to turn around our order because we were RAVENOUS!

I ordered pumpkin, chicken and goats cheese pizza. It was served on a pretty little wooden board with great globs of goats cheese dotted all over it and smaller globs of pesto. The pumpkin was sweet and tender. The chicken, however, was dry. I don’t think I have ever had much success with chicken on pizza – it always comes out dry. I think I’m going to stop ordering it.

Nevertheless, the goats cheese made the pizza sing – tangy, rich and plenty of it. The base was thin and crispy, but not chewy. I was reasonably pleased with this dish but for the price ($18), you’re really starting to push into that gourmet pizza category that is done so much better at other places.

Pollo e zucca pizza, Campari House

Mmmm... sweet pumpkin, tangy goats cheese. It's hard to go wrong. Lose the chicken or swap it for prosciutto and I think it would be perfect.

Mr Behemoth had been lured in by the pizza but happily discovered Campari House is one of those breakfast menu till 2pm on Sunday type places and ordered the big breakfast (aka “The Works”, also $18).

Big breakfast, Campari House

Is that a McDonalds-esque hash brown I see before mine eyes?

It looked great. Mr B was happy and wouldn’t let me try much of it – the baked beans were tasty. It was simple but covered all the requirements you want from a big breakfast, albeit with no additional interesting refinements.

Paying was almost as difficult as ordering before we worked out that we would just go and stand by the register to get someone’s attention. On the whole, you could do a lot worse than eating here. Our lunch was pleasant, if a touch overpriced.

The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar agrees with me that the pizza dough could be a little chewier; there are other blogger reviews of Campari House but the place does quite a few special events, premium dinners, rooftop drinking type things other than lunch, so I’ll let you discover all these on your own.

As far as I’m aware, the CBD, particularly the western end, is a bit of a wasteland on the weekend for good eats, so if anybody knows of any other places, comment below!

Campari House on Urbanspoon


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