There's a little known laneway in Bayswater called Macauley Place. It's a short walk from Bayswater station and overshadowed by the Bayswater Shopping Centre. When you find the lane, an orange sign will catch your eye with 'Cake and Spice Cafe' in black. You've found it.
Cake stands for Ruwan, a professional Pastry Chef who during the week shares his knowledge and skills by teaching at the William Angliss Institute and when not, he finds time each week to make the cakes, slices and biscuits for the cafe.
Spice stands for Damayanthi who each day, freshly prepares the authentic Sri Lankan meals served at lunch which are gluten free. Together, this husband and wife team have created Cake and Spice Cafe, a unique fusion of East and West.
Ruwan has been working as a Pastry Chef for over 20 years. He has gained international experience and undergone training in Europe and the Middle East. If you like Black Forest cake, you must try his as it's made from a secret home recipe he picked up while in Germany.
You have from 8.30am to 3.30pm to have breakfast, lunch or stop for cake and coffee. Locals often call in to buy their dinner to take home. All meals and cakes are prepared from scratch with no additives or preservatives allowed. Ruwan and Damayanthi are vigilant about this as their son has reactions to additives in food.
Damayanthi grinds and mixes her own spice blends. She honours her traditional Sri Lankan recipes and ingredients, so you get the real deal. No sweeteners or pre made sauces are used. Curries are mild to hot and if it's not hot enough for you, ask for Damayanthi's fried peppers to accompany your dish.
The natural sweetness of the fresh vegetables regularly bought from market sing with the spices. The vibrant colours of the vegetables and the delicate fragrances greet you as the plate arrives. Damayanthi expertly balances the ingredients allowing for each scent and flavour to be recognised in its own right. She brings the food to diners with a calm and grace that is meditative to watch. Lunch dishes start at $10.50. Popular curries are Eggplant, Sweet Potato, Beetroot, Lentil and Vegetable. Meat curries are made from chicken, beef or lamb.
If you don't feel like having a curry, there are English Breakfast options on the menu. Whilst I was having my three veg curry dish, Damayanthi whipped up two serves of sausage, eggs and bacon to rival any good B&B or city cafe. Breakfast dishes start from $6.90. Toasted sandwiches start at $4.50.
Tumeric is in most of the Sri Lankan dishes and customers come in asking specifically for dishes with this spice; 'because my doctor told me to' explained one regular to me. He ordered a trio vegetable curry dish to go with his bacon, eggs and sausages.
Alongside the curries and dahls on Wednesdays and Fridays, you have the additional western influence of traditional German food. The local residents from the nearby German retirement village come in droves on these two days, so expect the cafe to be packed during lunchtime.
Brigitte is the talented cook behind these authentic German meals consisting of a meat dish and vegetables with Knödel (dumplings). On other days you'll find dishes like Rissoles, Beef Goulash, Red Cabbage, Peas and Carrots in White Sauce, Stuffed Peppers, Bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes) and Meatloaf. The German lunch starts at $12.90.
Damayanthi tells me that many of her Sri Lankan customers come in for the German food and many of the German customers come in for Sri Lankan food. Everyone has cake. The word about Cake and Spice Cafe's good food is getting out and customers of all nationalities are arriving from further afield.