After one and a half laps of the city, three attempted walk ins and two calls to a couple of restaurants it was now 6:30pm and we were beginning to think that maybe Melbourne wasn’t as family friendly as we had first thought. With many not willing to accommodate and most not even having highchairs on premises it was proving a difficult task. With hotel room service seeming like our only option we made one final call to Rosa’s Canteen. This Sicilian restaurant was not only authentic in taste but in culture, happily welcoming two parents and a baby without reservation or hesitation.

grilled sardines with parsley and caper sauce rosas canteen melbourne.JPG

The menu was a trip down memory lane with dishes we recognised from our babymoon galavanting around the island. Choosing some classics and old favourites we started with eggplant fritters with tomato agrodolce and grilled sardines with mint, caper and olive sauce. The fritters were beautifully crispy and the sardines fresh, light and flavoursome. Valentina happily devoured both dishes, then again when did any child say no to fried food.


“A SPOON for me and two SPOONS for you.”

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This pasta is the epitome of Sicily. It’s almost guaranteed that you will find spaghetti alla trapanese on every restaurant menu on the island. I can count the number of ingredients on one hand but that in no way dilutes the exceptional flavour of one of my favourite pasta dishes. Cooked al dente with crushed almonds and bread crumbs even Valentina couldn’t keep her dirty mitts off this one.

barramundi with tomato puttanesca rosas canteen.JPG

You can’t take a trip to the mediterranean without ordering a perfectly cooked fillet of fish. This one was barramundi served on tomato puttanesca and like all dishes that precede it was busting of flavour. Getting our greens in we ordered a side of green beans for crunch with added ricotta for calcium.

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Finishing on something sweet because the Italians know that’s the only way to end a meal. Masala pannacotta with figs and almonds and a generous slice of freshly made lemon custard tart. Again Valentina was more than happy to help us out with these two. Lets see how ending the night on a sugar and (very minor) alcohol high goes down at bedtime……..

tart of the day rosas canteen.JPG

It came as no surprise to us that the chef was Sicilian. The food was cut, copy, paste from a Sicilian kitchen and tasted every bit as good as the real deal. Authenticity is what beats at the heart of Rosa’s Kitchen so if you’re looking for flavour then Buon Appetito!



  • They were more than accommodating and happily seated us without a reservation.

  • The waitstaff and chef were fun and friendly with Valentina and kept her entertained throughout our meal.

  • They have highchairs and changing facilities.


  • If your baby is not a particularly adventurous eater it might tricky to find something plain and simple on the menu,


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