This was supposed to be my very first post about eatery place in Melbourne, but things happened and the post got postponed to three years later, lol. They’re also already moved to a new space, still in the same Mall though, just different level and location. But anyway, I’m still going to post it, because I would say it’s still *kinda* relevant. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, an aesthetically pleasing eatery place in Emporium Mall called :
Calia is located in Melbourne CBD (Central Business District), precisely inside Emporium Mall on Lonsdale Street. The new location is very easy to find, just go to the main entrance of Emporium and you’ll see Calia straight away. But this post is about the old Calia, so let’s pretend that we don’t know the new one exists okay, haha..
For a person who was so new to Melbourne and its F&B culture, Calia was very dashing to my eyes! The overall place was just so pretty! I just wished that they were not placed inside a mall, it would be more insta-worthy if they have sunlight instead of the fluorescent lamps (only photographers know the pain). But anyway, Calia is divided into two sections; their main dining area with the open kitchen and open bar, the other side is the shop, together with their cashier and cake display.
When I stepped on their main entrance, I saw there was a shop section on the right side and the cashier on the left side. I was welcomed by a young lady with an iPad attached to her, apparently, she was the one who’s in charge of arranging the seating for everyone. The seatings were already packed when I arrived, so I had to put in my name and my number on the waiting list and the young lady said that the waiting time was about 30 minutes to get the next table there.
Since I’m already there, I decided to go all in. And 30 minutes didn’t feel that long though, I probably spent the first 15 minutes just exploring their shop, it was a good distraction for customers. No kidding, everything that they sell there were very fascinating to me.
After I finished looking around the shop, I went outside and found that their coffee bar is not only visible from the inside, but also from the outside. This means that you can actually order their coffee without having to go inside the restaurant. They also have simple pastries on the coffee bar display to be paired with your take away coffee, not to mention their very nice marble printed takeaway coffee cup!
20 minutes went by, and my phone buzzed, I got a message that I can go back to Calia because my seat is almost ready. Well, that was quick! But then again, I was alone too, so maybe it’s not that hard to find just one empty seat for me. When they put me at a sharing table, I wasn’t too happy. I didn’t know that it’s a common thing in Australia to have a sharing table with strangers. But at this point, I was in a starving mode, so I just nodded and sit there.
I sat right in front of the open kitchen, but I wasn’t facing towards it, it was behind me. I looked around and counted, Calia can fit to around 55 people. There are tables for two on the outer side near the glass window, table for three (or four) in the middle, and two big tables for eight (sharing table) on the inner side of the restaurant. So, for easier seating, I’d recommend you to come in two or three if you don’t want to be seated with some stranger like me (still possible though).
The table setting is pretty simple, just a round big spoon and a chopstick both covered in a copper color. They gave me the menu book and also a small jug of water and also a drinking glass. The menu itself is pretty simple, I browse around and I picked one of the most expensive yet also the one that I really want to try the most. It is the Wagyu Bowl! For the drink, I decided to go for one of my favorite drinks ever, it’s the Matcha Latte!
I took all of these pictures with my phone since my camera is broken by the way. I hope it’s not too shabby 🙂
Calia Wagyu Bowl ($33.8)
Matcha Latte ($5)
Three years later, I’m still unsure if the Wagyu Bowl was what I expected it to be. I mean, sure, it was a great bowl of beef rice, but would I want to go back and have this dish again? Well, the answer is : I haven’t. On a lighter note though, I didn’t regret the purchase, I appreciate the time and effort they put into creating this beautiful dish, and I enjoyed it. The Matcha was really good too, though I would say for this size of a cup, I’d consider it on the pricier side. But again, I didn’t regret the purchase and I enjoyed it very much 🙂
In conclusion. I had a good experience in Calia overall, I went back a couple of times more after this initial visit, and they were still on top of their game. Food and beverage quality, also the service were up there, so Kudos to Calia team! I haven’t been back to try their new space though, so if you have been, let me know what you think about the space and how is it compared to the old one?
Business Hours : Every day : 11 AM – 9 PMCoffee : Yes
Brunch : Yes
Dessert : Yes
Indoor Capacity : +- 55
Outdoor Capacity : –
Total Capacity : +- 55
RSVP / Walk-In : Both
Waiting Time : 20 minutes
Range Price : $5-$50/person
Ambiance : Black-Gold-Wooden Vibe
Toilet : Emporium Toilet
WiFi : No
Vegan / Vegetarian Options : Yes
Split Bills : No