Sebastian’s Italian Cafe
Cnr Albany Hwy & Basinghall St, East Victoria Park
A long tried and tested staple in the heart of East Vic Park lies Sebastian’s Italian Cafe. If you’re a local, you’ll know this place. It’s a magnet for casual business lunches and social gatherings. The staff are well trained, very polite, and large groups are their calling.
I’ve visited Sebastian’s many times in my life and each experience hasn’t deviated much from the next, much like the menu. But in a cafe of this size, maintaining consistency is as good as their sauce, which incidentally tends to crop up in various dishes making an appearance like an old friend.
But be it a weekday or a week night, Sebastian’s shouldn’t fail you. The serving sizes are of Shrek proportions and you just simply won’t go home hungry. The menu is expansive but the prices are not particularly competitive, but if it’s quantity you’re after, then you should be happy.
Take a look at the entree sized fried calamari. Seriously fit for a main at $14.50.
I’d expect something less blonde for myself, more crisp and less sinewy if I had my ‘hard marker’ hat on, but something tells me when your laughing out loud amongst a big group of friends you wouldn’t really notice…and the aioli was actually bonissimo! You know me…I love my sauces! The salad was enjoyable, and given that I’m a salad boot camp commando, I’ll leave a salad on my plate if it even remotely looks like it was thinking of wilting. For me, salad must be crisp, vibrant, fresh and awake. Salads in a half comatose state will never crack a good mention here…and so I can safely say people, I devoured this salad.
For the main meal, I had the Osso bucco-extra sauce. On a cold Winter’s day, the thick gravy like, veal knuckle stew is good on the belly. Osso buco means ‘bone with a hole‘ and if you love bone marrow, and a sizeable chunk of meat braised in white wine then this dish is for you. I enjoyed the richness, and the braised vegetables added colour and a good depth of flavour, but I couldn’t eat the entire meal.
The dish was well seasoned and delicious, although if removing a good portion of fat from your meat bothers you, you might prefer the lamb shanks on mash, or the Chicken Marsala. I know I’m a sucker for Osso buco or lamb shanks, but hey, it’s not all about me.
I know some people who will only ever order chicken breast at restaurants. If you’re one of these people, you’ll devour this dish. If you like your dishes sweet. The Sweetness of the marsala reigns over the chicken flavours and its creamy goodness is a decadent pool of richness awaiting to be mopped up with the breast. I don’t often order breast; I’m afraid I’ll become hostile if it reaches me in a dehydrated state not even fit for a defribulator. But don’t stand back! The offerings here were surprisingly smooth, moist and succulent- yet very, very sweet. A better choice for someone who leans away from the savoury.
I think you might enjoy Sebastian’s. It’s casual, relaxed and accommodates large and rowdy groups. It has an expansive menu, so much so that it’s overwhelming to choose. If you like that, and you don’t mind your sauces making an appearance on a multitude of dishes on the menu…then it’s a good trade off for the variety. I don’t find the prices particularly competitive, but they do offer a buy 1 get 1 free on your birthday, so be sure to sign up for that when you pop in and you can use it on your next visit.
Coffee CHECK! Latte was delightful and I was as chuffed as an Italian in Roma. I also had my eye on the vast range of Italian desserts, custard filled delights and cakes but my goodness! I couldn’t fit them in! I’ll be back in time I know…and when I do, I might try a dessert for lunch, instead.
Features: Sebastian’s offer $12 lunch specials 10:30 – 3pm Monday-Friday, and include a variety of pizzas, 3 types of pasta (arrabiatta, Alfredo, & primavera), cannelloni, lasagna, snapper with chips and salad, chicken parmigiana, Caesar salad and calamari. For the burger lovers, you can pick up a steak, chicken or a B.L.T served with salad and chips for only $12. Now that’s value. B.Y.O Corkage $2.50 per bottle Minimum credit card spend $20 No separate billing. Short of time? Sebastian’s accepts pre-orders by phone or fax on 94723775.
Sebastian’s Italian Cafe
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HOURS: 7 days a week, Lunch 10am-3pm, Dinner 5:30pm til late.
DECOR & ATMOSPHERE: Casual, large cafe style relaxed dining. Noisy in the evening, so well suited for group and large family dinners.
LINEN? No, not that kinda place.
TABLE SERVICE: Yes, efficient service for lunch and quiet times.
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK? No.
FOOD: Italian, focused on serving large groups of people, large portions of food, and it’s just that kind of cafe.