Ombra Salumi Bar, unique eatery

Celebrating the art form of preservation is the newest in the Grossi family’s collection of establishments, Ombra Salumi Bar. Alongside Florentino with its three separate dining and drinking options: The Cellar Bar, Upstairs and Grill, Ombra Salumi Bar is a unique eatery that intends to preserve not only meats and vegetables, but also the Italian culture within Melbourne’s modern, bustling Bourke Street.

ombra bar
Ombra salumi bar

The menu includes a hand selected array of cured meats from New South Wales, Victoria and Italy all bursting with flavour and sliced fresh to order on the Ferrari-red meat slicer at the front counter. You can create your own combinations of meats, cheeses, share plates and pizzas to construct small personal masterpieces of flavour as you sip on a lavish glass of Lambrusco. Or you can take the easy option of the sharing menu which is comprised of a balanced selection of popular items. The hardest decision is then whether to settle for “Mamma’s Menu” or the more generous “Nonna’s Menu”. Either way, the treats are delicious and would make both Mamma and Nonna proud.

With all these amazing, cured meats, a flare for authentic Italian cuisine and such a great social atmosphere, it’s only natural that pizzas be featured. The list of pizzas to choose from is modest yet inviting, just like their toppings and that’s how it should be. The dough is allowed to prove for 48 hours before cooking making the base crisp, pliable and charred just the right amount. Cooked directly on the stone in the Moretti Forni serieP 120E, the pizzas are served nice and hot with slightly bubbled crusts and scattered with melted mozzarella.

Also cooked in-house in the SerieP oven are their charming breads; an essential accompaniment to all the smoked, salted, dried, pickled and fermented delights on offer. Ombra Salumi Bar chose to have the steam option added to the double deck electric oven and the result of this decision is bread with a delightfully chewy crumb and a crusty exterior.

Ombra Salumi Bar is the casual and fun little brother in the growing Grossi empire and the passion for the Italian tradition of preserving also runs throughout the design of the restaurant. There are jars of pickled vegetables scattered around with hand-scrawled labels and the wine collection is displayed in glass-enclosed cellars along the walls, which becomes a feature by itself. However, the main theme is social eating where sharing encourages conversation. Whether you choose to be seated at the stools by wooden benches, at the outdoor tables or upstairs cheerful chatter over the aroma of cured meats and a good slice of pizza is inevitable.