“All roads lead to Rome” – this is true In Richmond where several lead to Roam, an Italian inspired café, located on leafy Coppin Street.
The family behind Roam is the Sciarpas. Carlo is the head of the family and has spent most his life leaving his mark across Melbourne’s hospitality scene including at Balwyn’s Pure Italian and South Yarra’s Caffe e Cucina.
‘Roam’ is a play on words, reflecting the family’s roots in the Italian capital and how far they’ve travelled. With textures that are reminiscent of its namesake, a large marble bench stands proud, topped with a La Marzocco Linea PB and authentic Italian produce.
The fit-out was carefully mastered by Harris Robotis of Subtitled Design, and echoes the Roman theme with potted greenery mirroring the many window boxes of the city. A black and white caricature of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, ceiling painting combines with an image of a wolf, one of the symbols of ancient Rome.
The large dining area seats around 120 guests and is warmly lit by pendant lights that help marry modern aesthetics with ancient materials. Shelves run along the back wall and are stocked with packets of pasta, bottles of wine and jars of condiments. There are plenty of mouth-watering temptations behind the large glass counter, including takeaway pizza slices and panini. There’s also a selection of cakes and pastries to tease your taste buds.
Whilst this Roam doesn’t have Romulus and Remus, it does have two siblings, Ricky and Zegna. The pair can be found in the kitchen – both chefs like their father. The menu uses simple ingredients and traditional Italian methods. Delicious winter warmers include lentil soup with crispy kale; handmade fettuccini with calamari and capers; Roman style arancini; and polenta with sausage ragu. Wine is available by the bottle and on tap. For an Italian drop, try a sangiovese from Tuscany or pinot grigio from Veneto. For those that prefer the classics, opt for a glass of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon.
Small Batch roasts the coffee with the Candyman blend for milk based drinks and the Golden Ticket blend for black coffee. Batch brew and pour over coffee is also available, with seasonal rotating single origin beans. You won’t have to roam aimlessly around town, just head to Richmond to find the perfect fusion between modern Melbourne and traditional, Italian style cuisine.