That’s Amore Cheese was founded in 2008. Owner Giorgio Linguanti, who moved to Australia in 2004, felt there was a shortage of proper Italian cheese available. Eleven years on, the company supplies some of Melbourne’s top restaurants and cafes (including Tonka, Bar Idda and the new Espy in St Kilda) – but dining at one of these spots isn’t the only way to taste Linguanti’s artisanal cheeses.
The company’s two-storey factory in Thomastown is also home to a cafe and deli that, until recently, served a small breakfast menu. Now, a more extensive – and more cheese-centric – brunch menu heroes That’s Amore’s cheeses, which are all handmade onsite.
Hot ricotta (made just a few minutes before serving) on toast comes with Beechworth honey or Kyneton olive oil; oozy burrata arrives on a crisp potato rosti with avocado; and a ham, cheese and asparagus frittata is topped with buffalo ricotta and salsa verde.
But the real draw here is the fried-cheese bagel. A disc of caciotta (a fresh, soft-rind cow’s milk cheese) is crumbed and deep-fried, topped with a sunny side up egg and peppery rocket, sandwiched between a lightly toasted bagel (from Pane e Pizzico Artisan Bakers in Essendon) smeared with lemon mayo. Between the egg yolk and the hot, near-liquified cheese, it’s ridiculously oozy.
For lunch, there’s a slow-roasted pork-belly panini with a tonne of crunchy crackling, and homemade ricotta cavatelli (small shell) pasta with lamb ragú, saffron and peas. For dessert, traditional Sicilian granita, which is coarser than some other variations around Italy, in lemon or pistachio. It comes sandwiched between warm, house-baked brioche.
The cafe and deli also stock the full range of That’s Amore products – such as creamy fior di latte, soft burrata, delicate ricotta, and velvety mascarpone – alongside cured meats, olive oil, more local and imported cheeses, fresh bread and other Italian goods.
That’s Amore’s Cheese brunch is available from 8am until 3pm on weekends only.
66 Latitude Boulevard, Thomastown
(03) 9463 4202
Mon to Sat 8am–5pm