5 Lire, North Melbourne 3051

Another week, another brunch. This time I headed out north to check 5 Lire, famous for its ricotta hotcakes. Filled to the brim with fellow brunch goers and beautiful looking dishes, it is quite a small space but I've learnt not to judge a cafe by its cover so let's have have a real look at what this insta-worthy cafe has to offer.

First impressions, not the most atmospheric cafe I've been to. It was a bit quiet, dark and cold considering how bustling the space was. The dark wood and small space made the space feel quite small. Upon arriving we were very promptly seated though and orders following suit as well. The menu is split into sweet and savoury with a small variety of both. I found the savoury menu very unique (italian inspired) but also not broad enough to cater to most brunch tastes. Because of this we did go with two sweet dishes this time around. Note - the dishes took 40 minutes to come out... I was extremely hangry at this point.

The apple french toast is new on on the menu for the winter season. Not overly sweet with a nice balance of flavours between cinnamon and apple...I really liked this dish much to my surprise. It wasn't that rich and was quite simple with simply an ice cream and the french toast. Sometimes less is more and this dish definitely proved that.

On the other side of the spectrum...the ricotta hotcakes (buttermilk hotcakes, nutella inspired semifreddo, pariya persian chocolate fairy floss, chocolate cacao, orange crumble). These were meant to be the highlight of the cafe and is what they are most well known for...and boy did it turn out quite disappointing. The hotcakes were very dense and doughy in the middle with no sweetness at all which was fair considering how much else was on this dish. I'm all for presentation but this was overkill and I ended up choking on the fairy floss and orange crumble which was literally everywhere. The fairy floss added nothing to the dish and the most redeeming quality was the semifreddo which was delicious on its own.

Overall, not impressed at all. Poor atmosphere, difficult and unfriendly service, long wait times and presentation over taste. I'm all for a pretty dish which 5 lire definitely delivered on, but taste and service rules it all and it definitely did not meet expectation.


Presentation (5) : 4

Taste (5) : 2

Service (5) : 2

Atmosphere (5) : 2

TOTAL: 10/20

5 Lire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato