La Bottega offers all-day breakfast and lunch in an attractive indoor-outdoor setting in Leichhardt. Their footprint includes some coveted and well-spaced tables in a raised courtyard set back from busy Norton Street. Relaxing on woven plastic bistro chairs under their fringed striped beach umbrellas feels like taking a short trip to the Mediterranean coast. The holiday vibe is even more pronounced with an Aperol spritz ($14) in your hand, though on a hot day, a frosty strawberry splash frappé ($10) - made using fresh strawberries, mint and ice—does just fine.
For weekend brunchers backing up from a big night before, supplement your coffee with the green ninja ($9). It’s a not-too-hard-to-stomach blend of apple, cucumber, spinach, lemon and kale presented over ice. You’ll also want to hit up the deep-fried corn and pea fritters ($25) which come with your choice of smoked salmon, halloumi or bacon (the best way to restore equilibrium with the right balance of protein, grease and fat). Eggs are an add-on ($6), but only if you can handle them.
Now before you wince at the prices, portions here are generous. I struggled to finish five fat fingers of seared tuna laid across the tuna Niçoise salad ($25). It’s a slightly odd rendition with the expected green beans switched out with grilled zucchini. I did however enjoy the roast spuds jumping in place of boiled chat potatoes. Some seasoning on the fish wouldn’t have gone astray. Brunch specials like the lobster and prawn roll ($28) are going to win fans, though on my version the abundance of tasty tiger prawns did dominate the more gently flavoured lobster. They’re bound with tangy seafood sauce and presented on a cut-down brioche bun with cos lettuce and a side of paprika-dusted crisps. La Bottega does have a good lookin’ selection of slices in their front counter but their portion sizes have meant I’m never left hungry enough to try them.