OGI on Malvern Road: A Taste of Authentic Italy with Unique Wines and Artisan Delights

Drink, Eat, Melbourne, Restaurants / 29 January 2024

French champagne, though fairly mainstream these days, retains its allure on Malvern Road’s high end. Most establishments there serve it by the glass, offering a special yet familiar experience. However, Officina Gastronomica Italiana, known as ‘OGI’, brings a refreshing twist to the scene.

A Warm Italian Welcome Awaits

Stepping into OGI, the atmosphere instantly captivates you. The owners’ gregarious smiles and hearty ‘Ciao’ greetings, in thick Italian accents, envelop you in warmth and joy. This eatery, the brainchild of Claudio Casoni and Armando Al Khatib, celebrates Italian passion and tradition. It boasts authentic food inspired by their ‘nonnas’ home cooking, paired with an unorthodox yet exciting artisan wine list.

From Espresso Bar to Italian Culinary Delight

Initially, OGI began as a quaint espresso bar and deli. The team has since expanded, transforming it into a magical dinner spot for locals. The menu features a soldier truffle croquette with a crunchy exterior and a generous topping of pecorino cheese. Another delight is the gnocco fritto, a thin Italian fried dough, accompanied by pink capocollo, a delicately cured meat.

In-House Pasta and Fresh Seafood

Michelin-starred Chef Gabriele Coniglio crafts all pastas on-site. His red spaghetti, mixed with Australian lobster and a hint of citrus lemon zest, showcases his dedication to quality. The barramundi, sourced from Claringbolds Seafood, bathes in a vibrant green pea velutta emulsion. Both dishes exemplify OGI’s commitment to local, seasonal ingredients.

A Wine Lover’s Paradise

The restaurant features an impressive wall filled with diverse wine selections. They cater to all tastes but encourage guests to explore unique options. The Frissant Bianc, for example, offers a textural fizz from its natural and skin-contact winemaking process. The knowledgeable Italian staff eagerly share details about each wine, enhancing your experience.

Leaving Officina Gastronomica Italiana a Charmed Smile

As you leave OGI, you’ll find yourself charmed by the experience. The combination of delightful food, unique wines, and warm hospitality ensures you leave with a satisfied belly and a newfound appreciation for Italian cuisine. Bravo to OGI for offering such an enchanting experience in Melbourne!