There seems to be a terrible unspoken rule in Melbourne that the better the location, the worst the food - La Baia Bar Cucina was no exception.
To start with, the service was slow, inattentive and unhelpful - incredibly so - especially considering that on a Saturday night the restaurant was only half full. Even that may have been an exceptional turn out for the restaurant, with our fellow patrons appearing to have only have attended due to a Scoopon voucher we googled afterwards when wondering why so many couples ordered the same seafood platter and bottle of wine.
The food wasn’t much better...In addition to having the most absurd garnish of alfalfa sprouts scattering the plate, the oysters kilpatrick out looking, well, grey. Piled high with dried cheap bacon, it was impossible to tell the quality of the oyster underneath - which tends to be a sure sign in itself of its freshness.
The ragu pappardelle was surprisingly delicious (despite the alfalfa on top - come on guys, what’s with all the alfalfa??) - the sauce was well seasoned and rich with flavour and the pasta was cooked al dente. However, the margarita pizza we ordered to share with it was cold and bordering on bland.
The evening was topped off by a flickering light above our table, making the experience at La Baia feel more like a cheap night club (thank goodness we didn’t have epilepsy!) rather than a nice evening out for a meal. Unfortunately, a complete fail.
Total: don’t bother - it’s not worth the calories