Nestled in a quiet corner of the hills, is a nicely appointed cafe with fine food and great service. It is set in the confines of a wonderful historic building, and the current owners have grown the business into a bustling and popular eatery with much to offer. Mark and Louise discovered the place by accident and decided to continue their distinguished careers in the 'foodie business', because the place was too good to pass by. The building has its own persona, being built circa 1920, as a house owned by a writer, then it was a doctor's surgery. The last 7 or 8 years have seen it as a cafe with a funky 70's retro decor with 'Deco' overtones.
The duo have a simple philosophy, which is to make Brunch Cafe the kind of place they would want to take their own family for fine cafe dining. The menus are a mix from English, French and Australian cuisines. The exemplary combinations of food are creatively combined by developing the most number of uses you could think of, from a given number of ingredients. In addition, they have a growth plan that will make you smile, and that will be revealed soon. The locals are 'going ape' about having a great cafe close at hand.
The menus are constantly evolving, with seasonal menus and great daily specials which change most days. Some of the great selections for the winter menu are as follows. They do an Austrian breakfast - which is a great mix of sweet and savouries and is actually quite a hearty feed. It is a mix of free range ham, cornichons, spicy salami, creamy cheddar, and a warm sourdough bagette with butter and jam. I always find a good eggs florentine or benedict irrisitable, and topped with smoked salmon, spinach on 'doorstep' toast... 'yuuuummm.' The lamb, mint and haloumi burger is another 'hunger stopper', the creamy mint sauce has a great zesty flavor, the lentil, pumpkin and coriander salad having great flavor and texture. It would not be a feed without a wicked desert to' top it all off', so here are couple to ponder. Imagine a decadent sticky date pudding with piping hot toffee sauce on a cold day, or a banoffee; which is comprised of thick caramel and bananas in a sweet, short-crust pastry, with cream and chocolate sauce drizzled over it. There is a separate kids menu featuring bacon and egg on toast, free range ham and cheese sandwiches, grilled chicken and salad, sausage rolls and salad. The kids drinks include baby cino, mixed berry smoothies, juices and milkshakes.
Fall in love with the building, great food and service.
The list of 'adult' beverages includes smoothies with fruit and yoghurt, spiders, soft drinks and juices, beer and wine. The coffee list is extensive and includes Irish coffee and frangelico affogato. See the tea list too, and here is a menu link for you.
Dinner is served Friday and Saturday night from 6pm until 9pm. The dinner menu contains such gourmet delights such as pan fried scallops with crips proscuitto and garlic sauce, fresh prawns with lime mayonnaise for starters. Mains include grilled king salmon fillet with spinach and lemon hollandaise sauce, and char-grilled lamb with quinoa salad, and cranberry and orange sauce. Now that is enough to make your mouth water. Feel free to contact Brunch cafe for the latest dinner menu as it varies. The theatrical side of the owners seems to be on show too, and staff dress to impress in period outfits.
Mark and Louise have 5-star experience from there time working at London Inns, and extend that experience to Brunch cafe. They have a traditional butcher who supplies their meat, and a local baker who provides the best French and European style breads. They always seek the best produce for great results plating their fine food creations. They provide gluten free choices, low-carb menu items, vegetarian options, and welcome any consultation regarding special dietary requirements. The dinners can be booked for special events and recently they staged a 'Paleo food function'.
Staff dress to impress for Friday and Saturday night dinner.
Snuggery bookshop is a simple concept backed by great motives. You can purchase these pre-loved books for a modest fee, and the proceeds are donated to local churches throughout the hills. You can peruse the collection in a cosy cafe environment, and they are a great way to buy. Mark and Louise are quite happy to collect any unwanted collections for their cause, or drop them in yourself.
The function and dinner rooms reflect Art Deco decadence.
The gardens provide a lovely outdoor experience, and you can be seated amongst the fine old trees, enjoying king parrots, cockatoos, and rosellas that visit frequently. The coffee is a fine blend, and Mark and Louise are always on the lookout for 'new and better.' The food is great, there is good parking between the front, internal and side street parking. The leafy scene is a fine place to relax over great food.
The kids can run and play safely in the well appointed playground and gardens.
The renovation has given the building a more luxurious period overtone, which is bright, charming and coupled with open-fireplaces, creates a cosy and inviting feel. Come and feel the warmth on a chilly winter day or sit out in the grounds on a fine sunny day. Let the little ones run around, as there is play equipment for them. Send the kids out with carrots to meet 'Cookie' and 'Cream' the pet Cashmere rabbits.
The friendliness of the staff and great service make it a cafe you must visit, so make a leisurely stop when exploring the many activities and great things to do across the Yarra Ranges. To see more about the attractions visit the tourist information and parks websites.