Restaurant News

The much-anticipated Totti's Lorne is (finally) opening this weekend

Yes, you can get the famed puffy wood-fired bread at the first-ever Victorian Totti's - plus panoramic ocean views.

By Cordelia Williamson
Interior of the original Totti's restaurant, Totti's Bondi
Sydney-based hospitality juggernaut Merivale is bringing its most popular Sydney restaurant - Totti's - to the Victorian coast.
After much anticipation (and a delayed opening date), Totti's Lorne is finally opening this weekend on Saturday 11 March, adding to the group's ambitious expansion outside of its home city.
Thanks to the Italian diner's mass popularity, there are now four variations of the Totti's theme in Sydney — Totti's Bondi, Bar Totti's, Totti's Rozelle and Totti's Pasta Bar at Allianz Stadium. So, it's no shock that, for its fifth outpost, the Merivale triumph is moving interstate.
Lorne Hotel Photo: Merivale
Totti's Lorne marks the first part of Merivale's major revamp of the historic Lorne Hotel, located along the Great Ocean Road. Merivale's Justin Hemmes purchased the 145-year-old pub in May 2021; the same year the Sydney-based billionaire acquired Melbourne CBD's Tomasetti House as well as several venues in Narooma on the Sapphire Coast of NSW.
Much like the Bondi flagship, Totti's Lorne boasts a coastal locale — but with much closer proximity to the surf thanks to the hotel's beachfront position. Cue: a Negroni Sbagliato and antipasti platters paired with sweeping ocean views.
Behind the legendary, laidback Italian eatery is executive chef Mike Eggert, who's working with Lorne Hotel's executive chef Matt Germanchis on the newest venture. The team are bringing the most successful parts of the Totti's empire — the antipasti, the wood-fired oven and, yes, that puffy wood-fired bread — and replicating them at the Lorne venue.
Also on the menu, you'll find house-made pasta, such as pappardelle with lamb ragù and ziti prawn alla vodka, alongside local seafood dishes and a wood-grilled lamb chop. For dessert, there are nostalgic banana splits, chocolate torte and, of course, Totti's tiramisù.
Totti's famed wood-fired bread Photo: Steven Woodburn
As for the drinks menu, there'll be the usual favourites (think spritz, negroni, margarita) as well as a focus on local Victorian winemakers and producers.
"Totti's is a restaurant where you can walk off the beach for a quick bite and glass of wine or stay for a long lunch with friends and families, which fits Lorne to a tee," Eggert said in a statement. "It is an amazing opportunity to bring Totti's laidback style and signature dishes to one of the most iconic coastal locations in Australia that is Lorne."
Located on Lorne Hotel's ground floor, the restaurant will cater to tourists and locals alike, with room for bookings and walk-ins. The fit-out has been led by Akin Creative's Kelvin Ho, alongside Justin and Bettina Hemmes and Amanda Talbot, and will no doubt adhere to the Merivale aesthetic: polished yet approachable.
"Think Totti's on holiday," says Ho in a statement.
There'll be chequered cork floors, sorbet terrazzo and terracotta finishes, soft arches and aged copper fireplaces. But the real drawcard is the stunning beach and bush vistas of Louttit Bay.
Totti's Lorne is open from 12pm on Saturday 11 March. Bookings are open from 9am on Wednesday 8 March via the Totti's Lorne website.
Mike Eggert (left) and Matt Germanchis (right) at Totti's Lorne; Photo: Hugh Davison
  • undefined: Cordelia Williamson