A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published February 9th 2014
There's nothing crabby about Crabapple
Tucked away in the busy strip of Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, between Barkers Road and Burwood Road, the narrow-fronted Crabapple Kitchen is easy to miss. But it's well worth finding, as it is a great restaurant with consistently good food and service. During the Sunday brunch service particularly, Crabapple Kitchen goes OFF. (I mean that in the sense that it rocks like a big party rather than it withers like an over-ripe nectarine!) Don't be surprised to find a queue of hopeful people standing out the front waiting for a table. Crabapple Kitchen does however take bookings, so a bit of forward planning is helpful.
What never fails to impress me about Crabapple is that it always seems to be staffed up to cope with the customer surges, such that service is still friendly and efficient, coffees arrive in a reasonable timeframe, and tasty, beautifully presented food is also served quickly. I've always had good experiences there and wouldn't hesitate to go back, even if it sometimes means I'm squeezed onto the bench along the side wall at the front.
Looking towards the entrance of Crabapple Kitchen
My most recent visit there was for Friday brunch. The place was buzzing, but not with the same freneticism one sees on a Sunday.
The menu has a good selection of delicious sounding dishes. There is an all day breakfast menu, from which I chose the 'creamy porridge with fresh nectarine, boysenberry & vanilla compote, candied walnuts, bee pollen and a drizzle of NZ Manuka honey' ($12). It was a lovely dish, with creamy smooth porridge. The candied walnuts were divine! For my palate it was perhaps a little sweet overall, but I guess I should have expected the honey to bring about that level of sweetness.
My partner chose the 'avocado on olive toast with Meredith Dairy soft feta, chilli, mint, avocado oil & lemon' ($16.5). I also regularly order this dish and we both enjoy it greatly. The olive toast is a great base (flavour wise) for the toppings, and there's a wonderful balance of flavours across this combination of ingredients.
Avocado on Olive Toast
We could also have chosen the 'smoked Petuna ocean trout with tahini yoghurt, pine nut, pistachio & pepita seed granola, mandarin, Spanish & spring onions' ($16.5), or the 'buckwheat pikelets with lovage & Parmesan, hot roasted shellfish mayonnaise with lime and served with chopped prawns, avocado, red onion, basil and tomato' ($16). There is also a separate lunch menu. The breakfast and lunch menus can be viewed on the website.
Crabapple Kitchen offers something a little different on Friday nights, and that is their 'Friday Night Flights'. This involves a $45 set price meal featuring a 'travel inspired' tasting menu. The cuisine of a particular country or region is featured each night. Upcoming offers include Spain, Calabria and Marrakesh.