Loose Change Lunch – November

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Capitan Fracassa

By Ravenous Renee


Stopping by for a mid-week lunch in St Kilda, on a sunny Melbourne afternoon; I was drawn to the bright, colourful and lively interior (and exterior) of this vibrant, northern-suburbs influenced café. By no means lacking character, only emanating uttermost laid-back charm, Capitan Fracassa (only opened January this year) exudes an energetic and passionate Latin American vibe (reminding me of my travels to Guatemala, Mexico), which made me smile for more reasons than one.

With welcoming and delightfully amicable, Italian Father and Son duo, Tony and Tobi, running the show (with mother Daniela and other son Bruno, helping out behind the scenes), alongside their lovely and talented chef-hand Aurora, and rocking barista-hand Claire; you will be greeted into this eclectic, home-to-all establishment, with warm hospitality, from the moment you walk in.

Ordering Capitan Fracassa’s Vegan Bacon and Salad Sandwich ($9) and fresh mixed seasonal juice ($5.50), while my friend ordered the Two Up Burger (double beef pattie burger with the lot, which comes with a generous helping of fries, all for $17) and fresh OJ (also $5.50); we were more than satisfied on all accounts. We were also lucky enough to sample two of Capitan Fracassa’s popular salads (which go for $13.50 each), the Italian traditional Panzanella (gluten free) and the Vegan Caesar Salad – both amazing.

Now let me say, although everything on the Capitan Fracassa menu doesn’t qualify under the ‘loose change lunch’ category of $12 and under (although all the sandwiches definitely do); Capitan Fracassa is still value for money, on all accounts. Menu items are very fairly priced for the quality of ingredients, taste sensations and portion sizes you receive.

My sandwich with vegan bacon (strips of tofu basted and pan-sautéed in smoked sweet hickory sauce – yum!) was a total standout, as was my friend’s beef burger – which in taking a few bites, was honestly one of the best burgers I have had to date. Two juicy, succulent, mouth-wateringly divine beef patties were served up with a generous helping of the usual ‘burger with the lot’ ingredients (bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickle, etc…) and oozed heart-to-tummy, warming satisfaction.

The salads too were exceptional. The Panzanella and Vegan Caesar Salad together turned out to be a nutritious, filling and complimentary mix – a great vegan, gluten free lunch alternative – if complex carbs are out of the equation. For me, the Panzanella was my favourite – traditional Italian, home-style fair with a modern twist (almost resembling the texture and consistency of san choy bau filling), showcasing a nutty, vegie-crisp, soft-crumb like consistency – unusual, but scrumptiously delicious!

Then, if that all wasn’t already enough, we had the pleasure of being offered to taste one of Capitan Fracassa’s delicious vegan, dairy and gluten free cheesecakes. And need I say more, it tasted like the real deal. The coffee was damn good too. An exceptional lunching experience by all merits; this is one cafe you have to try. Capitan Fracassa, you’ve won my heart – when will you let it win yours?

Captain Fracassa
115 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Opening hours
Mon-Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Ph: 9531 3527

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