Fatto opens in Melbourne

The restaurant at Melbourne's Hamer Hall Arts Centre formerly known as Trocadero has been stripped back, made over, rejigged, renamed and now reopened as the Italian-accented Fatto Bar & Cantina. The carpets and glamorous interior and bar of the former incarnation have been binned by design group Projects of Imagination in favour of timber floors, acres of white tiles, red neon signs, light boxes, butcher's paper on the tables and several rather lovely zinc-topped bar areas. There's also a great feeling of light and space, a sense of humour and a distinct lack of formality.

Van Haandel Group general manager and Fatto executive chef Anthony Musarra says that the food and the feel of the restaurant "will have an Italian bent but we're not particularly trying to be authentic. We want it to be theatrical and fun, a kind of 'let yourself go' Italian joint that's a sum of its parts. We're not doing anything fancy - it's energetic, confident and pacey".

The menu, which is available in the bar, dining room and out on the spacious terrace, takes a classic Italian structure and approach, using good ingredients simply cooked. It starts with the antipasti-like appetisers (tuna crudo, garlic zeppole, salt-cod arancini) and salumi before moving on to salads, pasta and secondi, like grilled king prawns with buckwheat polenta or pork cotoletta with fennel and apple slaw.

There's also a lengthy list of desserts that include the classic crumbly sbrisolona (a pine nut and almond cake, served here with stone fruit and cannoli cream) and the modern, playful caramel panna cotta with salted popcorn.

"It's easy, vibrant, familiar food," says Musarra, "but that kind of food is fraught with danger because simple Italian food is actually really hard to do well. "[Head chef] Nick [Bennett, ex-Cecconi's] really knows how to deliver the kind of food that you crave. Along with giving people a good time and the lack of pretension, I think we're going to be here for a long time."

Fatto Bar & Cantina, River Terrace, Hamer Hall Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, (03) 8698 8800. Open daily 11am-late.


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Byron Bay gets a Chinese barbecue restaurant, Duk
10.11.2017
Royal Mail Hotel unveils Wickens
09.11.2017
Our favourite dishes: November 2017
03.11.2017
The perfect Christmas present for every gourmet
03.11.2017
New York’s Eleven Madison Park has a new look
30.10.2017
Ormeggio takes a Spanish detour
30.10.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...