Via Porta is the family culinary venture from siblings Simon, Jonathan and Ryan Consentino. Together the brothers set out with the intention to share their family’s Italian kitchen and tradition of gathering around good food.
“Whenever we would get together there would be an abundance of food, that’s a big part of our heritage that has stuck with us... that’s what drives our business, it's about food connecting us and offering that to other people,” says Jonathan.
First opening in Mont Albert in 2019 the Via Porta collective has just ticked over to three outposts with further stores in Hawthorn and Kew. All three Via Porta venues have their own identity but are unmistakably related—just like the Consentino siblings.
The original Via Porta Eatery & Deli on Whitehorse Road in Mont Albert is the headquarters of the entire operation. Established in 2019, the store has grown into a food haven where you can drink, eat and shop the very best. The interior draws inspiration from the laneways and villages of Southern Italy which sets the scene for your visit.
Being part eatery and part deli allows visitors to experience Via Porta in-house and in the comfort of your own home. The deli is stacked with carefully selected charcuterie, cheese and antipasti products for you to shop from local and international suppliers.
The pastries however have been a major drawcard for the cafe and bakery, establishing themselves as some of the finest croissants and baked goods in the southeastern region of Melbourne. Alongside the cult-following they’ve amassed in store for their golden creations, they’re now also stocked at several top cafes scattered around Melbourne
The dine-in menu can be overwhelming with choice, options like the cinnamon brioche french toast with poached peaches, a thick vanilla custard, strawberry compote and almond tuile is understandably a crowd-pleaser. More savoury takes like The crispy eggs is a remnant from the brother's first cafe endeavour, Mr Hendricks, it’s stacked with smoked ham hock, sweet potato puree, with gouda cheese on slices of thick-cut sourdough toast.
Pronto by Via Porta is a spin-off tucked neatly down Fenton Way just off High Street in Kew, it’s an intimate shop and the perfect pit-stop for a coffee and pastry. The display cabinet is stocked with an all-star selection straight from Via Porta Bakehouse, while the fridges loom large with pre-made take-home meals like their infamous lasagne.
The final piece of the trilogy is the Via Porta Bakehouse, the viennoiserie shop front is located on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn. There is a seamless transition from the counter to the pastry kitchen thanks to the open plan layout so you can ogle the sweet treats being made as you order. Now you can get your hands on one of Via Porta’s Italian and French-inspired pastries straight from the source. Take your freshly baked croissant to go or stay a while and people watch from a window seat.
“For us, it’s more than just food, service is as important and ambience is as important… it's about the whole experience at Via Porta,” says Jonathan.
A right of passage of any Via Porta visit is to stock up on the pantry staples from the retail section, foremostly the Marinara sauce whose recipe was passed down from the boy’s Nonna herself.
Check out some of the best cafes in Melbourne over here.
Image credit: Studio Estata (supplied)