Frank Fera introduced pizza to Australia back in 1961. Could there be a more qualified person to serve Malvern’s hungry tummies? Homemade pasta, veal and fish are also popular choices at the Glenferrie Road institution, Rossini Bistro.
It’s a simple, homely environment, according to Frank and Maria’s daughter, Lucy, who grew up helping in the family’s commercial kitchen.
The restaurant is packed seven nights a week and has been for 27 years.
Among the favourite dishes are the famous spaghetti marinara and pizzas large and small.
Pasta is so popular that some 90 kilos of various shapes and sizes is prepared each week for both take away customers and those sitting at paper-topped tables amongst familiar faces. In fact, Lucy says there is a loyal and regular clientele – with the odd famous personality from TV and film making an appearance.
“We treat all the customers like they are our family,” Lucy says.
“I just adore welcoming every person who comes through the door and serving them beautiful food.”
Diners often start with bruschetta, minestrone or Pepata di Cozze – a casserole of mussels with white wine and garlic.
About 20 types of pasta are on the menu including lasagna, penne, ravioli, tortellini and spaghetti. Seafood dishes include calamari and salmon. Chicken and veal dishes also feature. Customers can BYO their favourite wine.
Children are warmly welcomed and enjoy the pizza as much as the desserts like panna cotto, gelati and Bacio.
If you are keen to enjoy old-style, Italian hospitality, there could hardly be a more authentic experience. As Lucy says, Rossini is an institution on Glenferrie Road. Customers enjoy the comfort of arriving to the Fera family welcome. Soon they have pulled up a wooden chair and are enjoy a generous meal in a homely setting.
“Malvern is such a lovely and friendly area. It’s quiet and safe. We are good mates with all the businesses around here. We all look out for each other.”
With world-class pizza coming out of the Rossini ovens, there is no reason to travel back to Frank’s original stomping ground where he introduced pizza all those years ago in Carlton. Malvern has its very own master chef. Perhaps even its own national treasure.
"I just adore welcoming every person who comes through the door and serving them beautiful food."