Melbourne loves rooftops. There’s something about getting above it all, isn’t there? Looking out across the city and being King or Queen of all you survey. So it really doesn’t get any better when you can start your day in a lofty kind of way with breakfast on a rooftop. Santoni’s rooftop, that is.
Santoni first opened as a pizza bar in the heart of Hawthorn in 2007. Run by Peter Koutroulis, and sons Michael and Anthony, they started on the ground level and have since worked their way up after securing the entire three-level Victorian terrace building in 2014. First, they opened a modern Italian restaurant; now, a rooftop terrace.
Previously only open for lunch and dinner, Santoni is now serving breakfast. And it’s quite a breakfast. Smashed avocado like you’ve never seen it before, served with cucumber tomato salad, brick pastry-wrapped king prawn, Meredith goats' cheese, pistachio dukkah and sourdough ($24). If you’re feeling in need of a sensory adventure, why not try their macaron, sandwiched with chicken liver parfait and served with an apple gel, caramelised walnuts and a scotch egg? It’s hard to imagine, I know, but it’s true — and the sweet and salty nature of the dish has a lot going for it.
You can always stick to the familiarity of muesli, which is served with a twist — it's swathed in a little raspberry jelly and lemon balm ($13.50). Larger appetites can be sated with pork belly with agrodolce (an Italian sweet and sour sauce) or a soft shell crab burger, which has just the right mix of chilli jam and aioli to render it eye-closingly delicious ($16). And don’t forget the breakfast pizza. Sant’Antonio Abate is said to be the patron saint of pizza makers, and Santoni proudly operate under his care. Any hangover would quake in the face of the vegetarian or bacon version of this AM pizza ($19.50).
Coffee, including their special cold brew, is supplied by Code Black, and Santoni will be one of the first restaurants to have Pressed Juices on their menu. The glowing bottles will have goodness coursing through your veins before you can even Instagram the panoramic views from the roof.
Hawthorn locals have been enjoying Santoni for years — so don’t get left behind. Pick a friend, any friend, and pull them up the stairs to the rooftop. Take the credit for the discovery and reap the goods and the glory.