• Bar Carolina (South Yarra)

The team behind Il Bacaro and Sarti, bring us Bar Carolina. Unlike the city restaurants, this one seems much more lively and fun. On a Wednesday evening it is buzzing with the beautiful people with their designer handbags and plastic surgery.

It was my friend’s birthday. We had booked a table for 8pm. And like a true Italian locale, there were others arriving and beginning their meals over an hour later.

But as with any restaurant, it is not just about the atmosphere, the food is where Bar Carolina excels.
Pasta is the specialty. There is one vegetarian option: tagliatelle made with nettle, served with a forest mushroom ragu and chestnuts. It was brilliant – the pasta was so deliciously fresh with the chestnuts blended into the topping of juicy mushrooms and parmegiano. Both of us ordered this. Both of us didn’t want it to end…yes it was that delicious.

For entrée there are a couple of tasty treats. We tried the crocchette with taleggio cheese, leek and walnut cream. It was basically cheese, crumbed and friend. The walnut cream was blended with garlic into a paste.  We had food envy seeing the table next to us served burrata with rustic toast.

We also ordered crispy Sebago potatoes with rosemary salt with our pasta. These were cut like thick chips, lightly browned all over and subtly seasoned.

Desserts sounded amazing – ‘glazed chocolate marquise, macadamia, caramel, cherry, vanilla ice cream’, or ‘blueberry, chamomile and elderflower panna cotta, pavlova, berry sorbet’. Sadly we were full. We compromised by agreeing we would return and try dessert next time.

My verdict? Okay, there was only one vegetarian dish. But when it tastes this good, it doesn’t really matter (I’d be ordering the same thing next time anyway). But we had so much fun. I love that the kitchen is open late. I love that it is vibrant on a weeknight. And, of course I loved the food.

Bar Carolina
44 Toorak Road
South Yarra 3141
03 9820 9774

Opening hours:
Monday and Tuesday. 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Wednesday to Saturday, 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Bar Carolina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato