Dinner and dessert, but mainly dessert


41 Little Collins Street, CBD


The other night I had dinner with a couple of friends from school. We wanted to go somewhere nice but reasonably priced in the city. I suggested Lupino and was glad I did, not too casual and not too fancy, Lupino was just right. 

I had tried to visit a couple of times after seeing a Melbourne Gastronome review last year but had failed each time after friends got stuck at work and cancelled on me. At least they said that they were stuck at work, maybe they were just trying to be polite about not wanting to have dinner with me. Why don’t people love me? Is it because whenever I go out with friends now I humiliate them by pulling out a camera the size of my head and conspicuously taking photos of everything? Maybe. Luckily this time 2 out of 3 friends came through for me and I didn’t have to cancel my booking (yes, you read that right – a Melbourne restaurant opened in the last 12 months that takes bookings for groups of any size, amazing!).


The restaurant was cozy and inviting. Lots of tile and wood with woven light fittings and a big open kitchen. It had a very laid back and inviting feel. The service was also good. Well, mainly good. I might be really nitpicking here, but we were given a basket of bread and butter (good bread by the way, really enjoyed it) but no plates. It may sound like we were just impatient and ate bread before the plates arrived, but I promise, we weren’t. We waited about 5 minutes before holding the bread in one hand and buttering with the other. In fact, the waitress later came up and replaced our empty bread basket with a new one (which was nice), but didn’t offer us plates. Maybe the no bread plates thing was intentional and meant to make the restaurant feel a little casual, but to be honest it just meant that I got crumbs everywhere. I’m a messy eater at the best of times, I need to be confined to a plate for my own safety.

Plate issues aside it was a great night. I thought the food (particularly the desserts), atmosphere and prices were all really good. I’m excited to go back, just as soon as people stop standing me up.  


We ate
My friend the doctor had the chicken and garlic tortelloni with tomato, bocconcini, basil and brodo ($22). She enjoyed it a lot. I thought it looked amazing, I am pretty much in love with anything served with bocconcini though. Bocconcini is right up there on my list of cheeses I love more than most other things in life (semi-soft division), it can’t beat buffalo mozzarella though.


My friend E had the grilled peaches, prosciutto and marinated goats cheese ($16). Reading the menu, we were all a little confused about what this dish actually was - was it a salad, was it some strange variation on anti pasto? We had no idea. As it turned out we probably shouldn’t have been quite so confused because it was exactly what it said it was, grilled peaches with some prosciutto and marinated goast cheese on a plate.


I was feeling a bit of a cheese and carb craving so couldn’t go past the spinach and ricotta (ricotta is up there on the soft division of my cheese list) canneloni ($19). It was simple and fresh and there was plenty of it. The pasta itself was delicious. It may look messy, but what it lacked in presentation it more than made up for in flavour. Sorry for strange colours, the low light wasn’t doing me any favours.


Ok, so all sounds pretty sensible so far, but here’s where our evening went off the rails a little. When we were ordering we talked about maybe getting a side salad to share. We thought about it for a while until someone (I’m not saying who out of fear of incriminating myself) suggested that we skip the side salad so that we could do a dessert instead. Now here I was assuming that we would split a dessert, or maybe 2, between the 3 of us. As it turned out we all wanted different things and wanted them badly enough that we ordered a full dessert each. Compeltely unnecessary, completely unhealthy and absolutely delicious. Probably not something we should make a habit of though given that we’re in bridesmaids preparation mode for my best friend’s wedding in a few months time.

I had the bombolini ($14) – 2 hideously unhealthy (and tasty) Italian doughnuts smothered in imported nutella and served with ice cream. Possibly the single most unnecessary thing I’ve eaten since christmas, I wouldn’t change a thing.


The doctor had the averna panacotta ($14). It looked good but I didn’t try any because we were all jealously guarding our plates.


E had the trifle ($14) which was served with a little scoop of ice cream which she was was completely amazing. She was still talking about it the next day.  


Wrapped up
Lupino has great food and an even better atmosphere at a reasonable price. The perfect place for a relaxed meal in the city.

Lupino Bar & Bistro on Urbanspoon

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  • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

    Dessert is the most important food group in the world anyway, so I reckon you done good :D

    • Marg

      Everyone loves dessert, maybe next time I’ll skip the mains and head straight for the sugar hit!

      • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

        That’s often what I do ;)

  • Marg

    Everyone loves dessert, maybe next time I’ll skip the mains and head straight for the sugar hit!

  • http://theveryveryhungrycaterpillar.com/ Libby

    This place sounds amazing. I’m always on the look-out for places that open until late and am glad to add this to my list of things to take the bf whenever he’s in town. Love the cute little red light above the doorway, too :)

    • Marg

      It was pretty good, it’s one of my new favourite places for non-China town dinner in the city. Oh, and those bombolini are dangerously good. I think I’m drooling a little just thinking about them now!