38 Chairs, South Yarra

From the sublime beauty of the Amalfi Coast and the bustling beachside lidos of Salerno, with echoes of ‘La Dolce Vita’, a visit to “38 Chairs” transports you to the best of what Italy has to offer, right here in South Yarra, Melbourne.

Gino Forlano grew up on the Amalfi Coast and honed his restaurant skills in hospitality throughout his life starting in Salerno and then on to London; finally landing in Australia 16 years ago, where he continued to develop his personal style in restaurants such as Jacques Reymond, Sassi (Port Douglas), Caffé e Cucina and Katerina Cucina e Bar. After winning for Caffé e Cucina, the “Ospitalita` Italiana” (awarded by the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the best Italian restaurant in Australia), Gino decided to make the move to his own restaurant in Melbourne, a city he had grown to love. Gino decided that he could reach no higher level in his capacity as “Il Capitano” at Caffé e Cucina and in football parlance, he “hung up his boots”, to pursue the new challenge of running his own restaurant.

In 2012, he opened “38 Chairs” in honour of his age at the time. There were 38 chairs in the first version of the restaurant and while the number of available seats has increased over time, it is and always will be, an intimate setting which lends itself to friendship, good conversation and a lively atmosphere.

What he brings to this highly successful South Yarra restaurant, is his sense of the Italian family and he projects his own love of ‘la famiglia’ and food through every aspect of the way that the restaurant is run. 38 Chairs is his home and everyone is welcome.

The vibe is relaxed and fun and the food is authentic. The staff are Italian and know what matters most to experience the ‘sweet life’ that is Italy.

“Simplicity, passion, respect and conversation” are the hallmarks of the attitude Gino brings to all that he does. He genuinely cares about the people he serves and the food that he serves to them. He and his staff represent all that is good about Italian food and service – fresh, young, vibrant and authentic ‘ospitalità’!

38 Chairs South Yarra’s focus is on fresh home made pasta, using a family recipe. Its signature dish is the pasta with duck ragout and is not to be missed.

The three core partners of this South Yarra gem, are Graziano Biviano (maitre’d), and chefs Giuseppe Di Mauro and Mirco Speri, who combine their talents to bring to you the best and most authentic Italian food experience in Melbourne. You will feel the love and the wonderment that only the Amalfi Coast can provide, but without the airfare!

So what next for “38 Chairs”? Watch this space for news of upcoming expansion of our original restaurant in Bond Street. We are excited to look forward to even greater things!