Baby Cafe & Pizzeria
631-633 Church Street, Richmond, VIC
03 9421 4599
Baby Cafe & Pizzeria is one of the additions to Chris Lucas' already impressive list of fun and sexy restaurants that have been at the forefront of innovation and excellence in a city with the reputation as the food capital of Australia. After launching the ground-breaking Botanical Hotel in 2003, which the Age Good Food Guide named Restaurant of the Year, Chris created Chin Chin, the turbo charged Thai powerhouse that is arguably the hottest restaurant in the country.
Following this venture, Baby Cafe & Pizzeria opened a year later in 2012. Baby has made Italian cool even cooler, with its sublime interiors and rustic pizzas, and has captured everyone’s attention. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Baby has reinvigorated the Richmond dining scene, satisfying the fashion-savvy locals, who can be seen sipping Italian inspired cocktails and eating delectable Italian morsels using only the very best in local and imported ingredients.
“It’s always been my view and ambition that great food, service, and ambience should not be available to an exclusive minority who can afford it,” said Chris. “It should be accessible to all who want to enjoy great food in an accessible and fun environment. This is what makes Melbourne so great.”
Baby Cafe & Pizzeria offers just this. Its extensive and diverse menu ranges from delectable house-made pastries and Panettone French Toast for breakfast to Neapolitan-style pizzas for lunch and dinner. Pasta, such as the decadent Pappardelle con Ricotta di Bufala, and main meals, such as Meatballs or Beef Cheeks braised in Barolo wine, ensure that there’s something for everyone.
The majority of the pizzas cost around $20, guaranteeing that the restaurant will appeal to a wide audience. The ambience is casual and cool, and the dining interiors capture the essence of Italy with the use of warm materials such as canvas, terracotta tiles, lovely timbers and an amazing marble bar, which overlooks the open kitchen.
Both Chris and head chef, Nicola Dusi, originally from Milan, appreciate fine ingredients and source the very best for the exciting range of luscious dishes and authentic hot pizzas. One highlight is Baby’s fresh buffalo ricotta and mozzarella made by an Australian cheese producer originally from Naples. Delivered daily, the cheese is made according to Italian tradition, and Chris said that this results in a fresh, rich, and sharp flavour with an amazingly moist texture.
The restaurant’s signature pizza, the San Daniele, embodies this food philosophy: It is a celebration of the best Italian prosciutto. The pizza is topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh fior di latte mozzarella, San Daniele prosciutto, wild rocket, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, and extra virgin olive oil. The result is a crisp pizza with warm and melting mozzarella, rich and earthy prosciutto, and a sharp and tangy finish thanks to the parmesan.
To wash down all of the great food, Baby offers a range of Italian inspired cocktails, imported and local wines, and directly imported Italian brewed beers. At breakfast, it also serves seasonal juices squeezed to order and single-origin coffee with cool and handsome Italian baristas at the helm of what has to be of one Melbourne’s best-looking machines.
Chris believes that a rich vibrant and diverse food culture can have a positive and significant influence on politicians, industrialists, and social influencers. “I passionately believe that restaurants have a broader responsibility than to simply just feed people,” he said, and he is committed to making Baby Café & Pizzeria part of the fabric of the Richmond district, as well as Melbourne as a whole.