I visited for lunch with two colleagues that are also close friends and we managed to secure a table close to the kitchen that usually seats four so in spite of the cosiness of the dining space we were comfortable. The kitchen is very busy and bowl after bowl of steaming pasta comes out. We were served by an endearing older gent who pretty much relayed our order verbally to the kitchen at heightened volume; no computers, no automated dockets, not even a slip of paper! It's a simple system but it works as after a short wait, three bowls of steaming spaghetti arrived.
My companions had the seafood pasta to die for and I had the spaghetti Bolognese. All three dishes were a tomato based sauce and came with a sprinkling of Parmesan and and a chunk of bread. We also had a small bowl of additional cheese should we want it and it's the real deal finely grated that melts rather than the dehydrated, sawdust stuff.
There was a lot of it so for $17 for the seafood pasta and $14 for the bolognese; it's good value for a CBD cafe. The pasta was hot and al dente and the meaty ragu was delicious. Rustic home cooked Italian fare that warms the depths of the soul kind of food. And apparently the seafood spaghetti was great too; although I didn't try it. The enthusiasm coming from my friends meant I knew it was good. I actually had seafood spaghetti the night before in Carlton and it was $25 and I know it was no way on par with this version.
And the meal finished sweetly as you can takeaway a sweet treat when you pay the bill. Portuguese egg tarts, muffins, slices are all on offer to enjoy after the hearty feed of pasta.