La Camera is positioned in an exceptional location on Southgate overlooking the Yarra. However, if not seated on the beautiful outdoor balcony, the venue on the inside is dark and un-inspiring.
To start with we shared the beef and cheese arancini ($11.50) and a cheese and garlic pizza ($18.00). Unfortunately the flavours of the arancini were one dimensional and could have done with a boost of seasoning. The garlic and cheese pizza however, was delicious and had a beautifully thin crust (but come on, how can you really muck up herb and cheese?). But for $18.00, it would have been nice if the cheese and garlic went a little closer to the edge and was not so concentrated in the middle.
For main I had the chicken parmigiana with coleslaw dressed in an apple cider and honey vinaigrette ($28.50). For $28.50, it would have been nice if the parma came with chips, but alas, I had to order a side for $6.90 - and to be honest, I shouldn't have bothered as the chips were hard and floury. The chicken itself was cooked beautifully, but the tomato sauce that topped it tasted like something from a can of SPC. The coleslaw was also rather disappointing - bland and lacking the promised acidity.
Whilst we may have just hit La Camera on a bad day, with so many other incredible Italian options in the city (think Trattoria Emilia, Rosa's Canteen, Tipo 00), its not worth the visit.
Verdict: don't bother - not worth the calories