Southgate restaurants sure know a thing or two about setting the scene for the perfect afternoon or evening soiree. With Easter just around the corner on Sunday 16 April, we rounded up some of our entertaining maestros to give us their tips on how to host the perfect Easter feast.

Melbourne’s much-loved risotteria, Tutto Bene, is known for its quintessential riverside dining experience. Sommelier and Restaurant Manager Osvaldo Tognella is an alfresco aficionado with years of experience in fine dining from Ritz Carlton Hotels across Europe and Japan to Head Waiter and Sommelier at the Bulgari Luxury Hotel in Milan.

Osvaldo agrees that hosting a lunch or dinner can be exciting but it can become a bit stressful if you don’t know where to start.

As a Northern Italian with a rich history in global hospitality, Osvaldo feels that hosting is a great opportunity to ‘show off’ how creative and attentive to detail you are.

“As an Italian I have to say that we are a bit vain and we love to receive people’s compliments and approval as much as we love to make guests feel welcome,” says Osvaldo.

Osvaldo’s top tips for the perfect table setting:

  1. Keep the table settings simple with ceramic or lightly painted plates, ensuring you create a contrast with tablecloths or wooden tabletop.
  2. Candles in beautiful lanterns around the area will add to the ambience.
  3. Add a touch of vintage using old style wine glasses and wicker breadbaskets.
  4. On the table rather than candles try some vases of herbs: rosemary, basil, or oregano, ready to be used with the meal.

Osvaldo suggests that while you are cooking you should keep your guests entertained with light nibbles, “a fresh pinzimonio salad to dip in ‘bagna cauda’ (a warm dip made with garlic, olive oil and anchovies), with some cured meats, mozzarellas or a light and refreshing caprese salad so they don’t fill up too fast.”

Tutto Bene’s innovative Italian head chef Nathan Scarfo has the perfect recipe for your Easter entrée. Caprese salad, Recipe by Tutto Bene’s head chef Nathan Scarfo

Southgate’s decadent dessert bar Damon Bradley has the recipe for the perfect non-alcoholic aperitivo, in its bestselling deliciously refreshing iced teas.

Damon Bradley’s owner Eileen Galea is an expert when it comes to entertaining and says the key to a wow-worthy spread is colour and texture.

“One of our signature drinks is the Raspberry Iced Tea. If the weather is warm we add icy cold scoops of house-made sorbet blended with real fruit. The vibrant red colour of the tea topped with bright berries is sure to make your guests snap-happy,” says Eileen. Make your own Raspberry Ice Tea at home with this recipe from Damon Bradley. 

No Easter feast would be complete without something sweet. Southgate’s latest addition ENA Greek Street Food is priming the spit for a Greek Easter to remember on Sunday 16 April. Head Chef Stavros Kamanis has agreed to reveal his recipe for the traditional Greek Easter dessert Galaktoboureko, a special Easter treat for Southgate customers. Check out the recipe here. 

This decadent sweet milk custard dessert drizzled with orange syrup is sure to impress even your most discerning guests.

Nothing would delight your guests more than the iconic Lindt Gold Bunnies as after dinner favours following your Easter feast, which you can personalise for each guest at Lindt Chocolate Café Southgate. Purchase a 200g Gold Bunny from Lindt Chocolate Café Southgate and their team members will custom print your Gold Bunny Ribbon for free while you wait!* While you are in store, Lindt will take care of all of your Easter gifting, entertaining and Easter egg hunts with beautiful Lindt Easter favourites including, decadent dark chocolate hot cross buns and an extensive selection of Easter eggs so you build your own perfect Easter gift. And this year Lindt

Whatever your plans, Osvaldo reminds us to make your guests feel at home.

“Even if it doesn’t come perfect, your guests will 100% recognize your effort and authenticity of your food.”

Happy Easter from everyone at Southgate!

Southgate will open as usual throughout the Easter period. Opening times for individual restaurants and retailers may vary. Please contact us directly for more information