• Babbo

Where is Madame Brussels Lane?  Just off Lonsdale, up the hill from Exhibition.  Till yesterday, I had not been through this courtyard of exciting lunchtime eateries.

We chose Babbo because it was the busiest, a good sign.

There is no menu, it is all visual, explained the lady before she walked us through what we could order.  She pronounced the dishes in genuine Italian and touched us on the elbows to make us feel included in the conversation despite the other not being able to hear when her head was turned.

 “Then there is the orecchiette, which is a pasta shaped like an ear, with pesto and ricotta. This one is vegetarian.”

Did she know I was vegetarian?  Or does she extend this service to everyone?  We got excited from the romance of her Italian and enthusiastic demeanour.  Sitting on one of the last remaining outdoor tables, we eagerly awaited our food with high hopes.

The orecchiette was delicious.  The pasta was homemade and fresh, the texture perfect.  The pesto of fresh basil, garlic and oil was topped off with a large chunk of ricotta.  It did not need the parmesan and chilli oil that the waitress placed on our table without being asked, but I could not resist all the same.  Bread was obligingly served as an accompaniment.

“How was it?” The waitress returned, excited to know what we thought.

“Cibo Con Amore” is not a rhetorical phrase here.  Our meal was delightful and we agreed that this was a lucky find to visit again soon.


Madame Brussells Lane
50 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000
03 9662 3334

Babbo on Urbanspoon


  1. That's exactly what I had for lunch today! I absolutely adore Babbo - and sounds like Ines took you under her wing like she does most people. The pasta dishes are different every week (Thu/Fri only), and there is always a vegetarian version. Often the vegies are from her parents garden too!

  2. Cibo con amore!
    I can honestly say that's what I have experienced when having anything (soup, salad, pasta or piadina)to eat at Babbo. The combinations of flavours is always amazing and as is the vibe. Ann

  3. Hi Mellie, I was so happy after eating here, it just radiated with good cheer. I can't believe the veggies are from her parents' garden! I will appreciate the food even more after now.

    Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. My friend ate a piadina and loved it too. I think I will have to make it my mission to try all the vegetarian food they offer.

  4. SO glad you liked it, I consider this place my local. I love it there.

    You might consider looking in on Wednesdays too - Ines often does a special, and she tries to mix it up so it's vegetarian one week, non-vego the next.

    You should also try their pizzas (there's always a veg and non-veg option). I often can't resist the Ciabatta Uovo (asparagus, spinach, boiled egg and aoli).

  5. Hi Anna, Yum! That sounds delicious. I am craving lunch already and it is only 10:30am. It seems I will be making many visits to Babbo now.

  6. Hi everyone, thanks so much for all your comments. They are really inspiring me. I went to Babbo again the other day and had a boysenberry and almond cake, delicious! It was gluten free too for those of you who can't eat flour. Elisa

  7. Hi Anna,
    I went to Babbo again today and tried the Ciabatta Uovo that you recommended. It was delicious!! Thanks so much for the suggestion.

  8. I used to work upstairs in Casselden Place and had a ciabatta uovo nearly every day! I googled it because I miss it so much!!! Great to see that others share my love for this creation. :)))

  9. Hi Claire, thanks for your lovely comment. I have actually started working right near here again so have rediscovered Babbo - in fact I have been going in far too much lately. And the ciabatta uovo? They are still doing it and it is still yum yum. I somehow feel loved and happy after their food. Not many places around like this these days.