Creative expression is the key to a life worth living
Published November 2nd 2011
I have never been one of those people that are particularly 'picky' with food choice destinations. As long as it's not steroid injected chicken from KFC or close to confectionery burgers from McDonalds, I'm pretty happy with most eat out restaurants depending on what sort of food my brain (or moreso stomach) feels like indulging in. But I've often wondered, what separates a good restaurant, bar or cafe from the bad or average? Perhaps it's the preparation of the food? Or maybe it has nothing to do with the preparation and is based solely on taste. What about the atmosphere of the destination? Is location a factor that should be accounted for when contemplating the desired reciprocation from customers? What questions run through the mind of a food critic when stimulating his or her tastebuds at a chosen venue? Finally, if a restaurant was to have positive answers to all of these questions, would it warrant the worthiness of being knighted a 'good' restaurant? Well if so, there is most definitely a new inductee into the gang of highly reviewed eat out places. It's time to welcome Airstream Café into the ranks.
Within the suburbs of Melbourne's south-east, and fast expanding, Airstream Café has earned itself a notoriously notable reputation as a classy and delicious eat out retreat. Its location is perfectly ideal for any restaurant, café or bar and, backed by its ever increasing customer appeal, is fast becoming the place for all to dine.
Located in Glen Waverley within the outer suburbs of Melbourne's CBD, Airstream was created with the intention for 'total restaurant domination.' It sits securely on the bottom level of the Novotel complex (Glen Waverley's most highly regarded main attraction) with an outside decking that looks out over Springvale Rd. Avoiding the natural chaos of an inner city venue while capturing the innate rush of Glen Waverley's busiest allurement, Airstream is always accommodating and forever busy.
With a Village cinema inside the Novotel occupying the same area, and an approximate 5 story hotel as a part of the complex directly above, Airstream rarely has to worry about a less than busy day. Not to mention the cluster of cafés, restaurants and bars that sit out the back of the Novotel which also help to provide a more enchanting and entertaining atmosphere. So whether you're staying at the Novotel's capacious and pristine hotel, you've come to enjoy a movie at the Village cinemas and found yourself hungry, or have simply decided on a night out with a friend or loved one enjoying a meal or coffee in a relaxed environment, then Airstream Cafe will most definitely not disappoint.
Initially, as you walk through the entryway to the restaurant, located just inside the main entrance of the Novotel, you are immediately inundated with a sense of comfort inside the spacious venue. As you wait to be seated, the open kitchen directly to your right makes you feel alive with titillating smells, vibrant and fun-loving chefs, and a cooking spectacle that will leave you impatient in the need to taste the end result of such production. But be quick in your examination because it only takes mere minutes to get you and your crew to your desired seating.
As you begin the walk to your table, the next aspect of beauty to capture your attention is the cake cabinet. With desserts ranging from Cookies & Cream to the famous Lemon Meringue and Cheesecake slices, this cabinet is any sweet tooth's ultimate haven. The dessert cabinet backs straight onto the bar which is located directly in the centre of the rectangular restaurant and is home to the glorious creation process of coffees, cocktails and any other standard drinks you or your company should so desire.
Located right at the back of the restaurant is a large area that is used for functions with the ability to close the space off from the rest of the venue by the use of large sliding doors. It is not unlikely to find the space being used for jazz and salsa dance lessons, just for a bit of entertainment, as well as being more commonly occupied for the usual birthday parties and going away gatherings. So if you're looking for a place to hold such an event, this may be the option you've been waiting for.
The outside dining area is most definitely a favourite. Complete with an overhead covering and electric heaters, the outside seating area is perfect for enjoying a drink or meal on a beautiful sunny day or even during the coldest nights of winter. The large oak-like tables are an eccentric drawing tool for all customers and friends including the people looking to enjoy a cold beer, cocktail or other beverage.
The enormous variety and combination of universal and outer-worldly cocktails as well as a diverse range of imported beers only fuels the attraction for strong and mild drinkers alike. But as well as it being home to all exotic alcohol lovers, the outside location is also the main 'hang out' area for the night and daytime coffee addicts looking to feed their addiction in the comfort of a warm and inviting atmosphere while also enjoying a weekly catch up with long-time friends and acquaintances. It is also the ideal location for smokers but most definitely not limited to.
Just one of the many extravagant & desireable cakes to choose from
Once the friendly and eccentric staff have fulfilled your accommodation needs, you are left with a diverse and entertaining menu to read. Now comes the hard part: deciding what to indulge your tastebuds in. Will it be one of the famous wood fire gourmet pizzas, a classic but well sought after chicken or beef burger with fries, a delicious plate of your favourite pasta, or maybe one of the more Mediterranean rice and chicken dishes. Perhaps Asian food is your choice or you feel like something light and prefer to indulge in a warm chicken or seafood salad. Either way, each meal is cooked to perfection with respect to your needs. Never having to wait longer than 20 minutes for a meal, even during the busy rush of the weekend, is most definitely what I call divine service.
If the main meal has still ceased to fill your appetite, then it's time to complete your quest with a little splurge in the dessert cabinet. You can enjoy a beautiful slice of your choice of cake with a smooth latte, chai latte, cappuccino, or even Airstream's famous flavoured mint or coconut hot chocolates. All bases are covered to make sure you leave Airstream Café fulfilled, content and already planning your next visit.
As you make your way out of the entrancing atmosphere of the venue, enjoying a complimentary after dinner mint that was waiting for you at the counter, you can't help but think about the experience you've had and whether Airstream is worthy of scrutiny. So is Airstream Café a new accompaniment into your minds list of 'good' restaurants and places to eat out? With all the boxes ticked, I think it's safe to say that not even the most sceptical of sceptics will think twice about giving Airstream the thumbs up for brilliance in dining. Whether your preference is towards seafood, rice, pasta, meat, salad, or a simple coffee and confectionery, each is equally as tasty and will have you promoting Airstream Café to all your friends as soon as your visit has come to its short (but not final) end. Like my father has always said to me, "don't be afraid to try something new, for you may find that you enjoy it."
So the question remains: what makes a restaurant 'good'? All I know is that Airstream Café has the ability to unconsciously answer all those questions. So prepare yourself for a lifetime of dedicated return dining at the café that speaks for itself. Who knows, maybe I'll see you there.