La Luca Cucina is fast becoming my go-to lunch stop whenever I haven’t brought in a home packed lunch.
Their bain marie style salad bar is terribly convenient. You simply pick up the appropriate sized container: small (AUD$8.95), medium (AUD$9.95) or large (AUD$10.95), and fill with how much and as many varieties of dishes from either the cold or hot sections. And if you’re anything like me, you’d have learnt the art of stuffing your container. Mine are courtesy of my days working as a waitress in an Asian eatery.
The cold section usually has 4 chilled options, which are usually salads. These range from chicken cob or ceasar to a more gourmet low GI brown rice salad or roasted veg with couscous. And there is a larger section of hot food, which ranges from traditional British pub food (eg lasagne, chicken parmigiana, roast sweet potatoes, fish and chips) to fusion Asian for the slightly more adventurous (eg pork belly stirfried noodles, green curry and sticky meatballs). If you don’t know what dish something is, look above them for the name and description scrawled in large handwriting on the glass panel.
I’ve been particularly taken by their brown rice salads, which are cooked well. The food can be a little too salty, but otherwise it’s fresh and not too heavily dressed in oil. Lasagne seems to be a staple on the menu, but I’d avoid as it tends to have way too much béchamel sauce.
Their menu changes daily, keeping it interesting and easy to drop in to see what they have that day.
Oh, and if the bain marie variety doesn’t take your fancy, La Luca Cucina also has a fresh sandwich bar, but expect a bit of a wait as it seems to be quite popular.