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Published December 17th 2020
Slinging exceptional brews and toasties
Logo Image - Head Honcho; the rest, writer's own
Chapel Street Precinct is an area renown for finding little gems in side streets and alleyways and that's exactly what Head Honcho is. A gem of a find off the main Chapel Street strip, down Chatham Street (no. 30), Prahran. You'll find Prahran's newest cafe open 7 days a week from 7am to 3pm. Open for business just a couple of months ago, if you're after exceptional brews and gooey toasted sandwiches, this Prahran cafe is nailing the coffee and toastie double-act.
Who doesn't love a hot toasted cheesy, nostalgic of many of our childhoods, of warm and comforting times when your teeth sunk into that oozy hot cheese and perfectly crisp toast! Get all the feels of times gone by, elevated to the next level at Head Honcho.
A quick pop in on the way home and my first visit, I ordered a Chai Latte and The Prospectorwhich is a truffle paste, mozzarella and Swiss gruyère toasted sanga. Dare I say, it truly was the best chai latte I've ever tasted. This is my neighbourhood and I've been up and down many a cafe on Chapel Street. I could taste every bit of spice popping on my palate as I luxuriated in that latte - the hot liquid coursing down my throat, warming my insides, transporting me to a de-stressed, relaxed state. It was heaven in a cup. As you can see from the picture, there was barely any latte left before I realised I had better take a picture. I was lost in its flavour. Fear not, you'll find delicious pics on their Facebook page and Instagram.
Could I really expect any more after that chai latte which had set the bar high, from two regular slices of bread not pumped up or beefed up into thick chunky slices? Yes, I could! Those humble slices, that stretchy cheese and truffle combo - just perfect! It's going to be difficult to look past this combo when I go next, and go again I will, to test drive the rest of the Toasted Sangas.
Other toasted sangas other than The Prospector, you can order include a blend of savoury and sweet with gluten-free and vegan options. The gluten-free alternatives use the delicious quinoa loaf from Strada Bakery, whilst the vegan options use the STREAT sourdough, packed with vegan cheese from Green Vie and Cheezley.
The Greenhorn, which is a mozzarella, cheddar and Swiss gruyère blend
Pistols at Dawn, a sauerkrout, pickles, tomato, mozzarella, crumbled feta, dijon mustard sanga
The Sergio, mozzarella, bocconcini, tomato, cheddar, garlic, tomato purèe & oregano with an option to add olives
The Vaquero, black beans, avocado, smoked scamorza, jalapenos, red onion, tomato purèe, crunchy spiced corn
Cowprint, gooey choc-hazelnut and white chocolate spread
Teas Red, your choice of strawberry, blackberry or apricot jam, served covered in sugar
There's a range of hot brews, Emma & Tom's juices and Butterbings which are large chunky cookies with flavours of vanilla, salted caramel, peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate sprinkle and gingerbread. I took a couple home and the flavours, taste and texture did not let me down. Head Honcho also stocks Pottery For The Planet reusable mugs, Rumble Coffee Roasters, Mini Hand-Grinders and more on their shelves.
Head Honcho is the brainchild of James Chooka Pettenon and Fintan Redmond (pictured below); two hospitality young guns with a passionate focus on their product, the community and the positive effect they can have along the supply chain. They are determined to lift the status quo from mediocre and uninspired offerings, to proudly serving simple yet exceptional food and coffee, with an unequivocal ethical, community and sustainability focus.
Inspired by their passion for cowboy culture and the courage of outlaws to deviate from the norm, the team have integrated a Western theme throughout the entire venue, emanating real character to Prahran's new kid on the block. The name Head Honcho itself is not only a tribute to the Wild West but also a reference to the venue's motivation to act as trail-blazers and set an example for the wider hospitality community.
Standing by their passion for Good Coffee, Made Right, the team proudly serves ethically-sourced and expertly roasted beans from Rumble Coffee Roasters, with milk from inner-Melbourne's only micro-dairy, St David Dairy. Of course, plant milks are also available from Happy Happy Soy Boy, Oatly, or Milk Lab. The team also takes pride in their strong relationships with suppliers, meticulously selecting those with values that align with their own. Each supplier not only takes extreme pride in the quality of their product but where possible, will go out of their way to emphasise socio-economic and environmental responsibility.
Pettenon and Remond are passionate about maintaining every aspect of the business in a social, economical, political and environmental way in their procurement process, to create a lasting impact on the local and global community. Designed by Pettenon, the cosy, modern interior is lined with western-themed prints, up-cycled mirrors and greenery. The warm tones and quirky decor exudes a welcoming, big-kid innocence, creating the perfect ambience to enjoy the classic coffee and toastie double-act.
Overlooking the brightly painted alleyway, a custom-designed wooden bench from Miles Taylor stretches the length of the venue and is fitted with an abundance of power points, providing the perfect communal space to work. However, nothing beats the friendly warmth of the staff who pride themselves on creating genuine connections with each of their valued customers. Head Honcho is the fresh breath of air of the Melbourne cafe scene, nailing the true essence of Melbourne cafe culture- honest food, quality coffee and genuine hospitality.
Whether you live in the precinct or you're next visiting Chapel Street, Prahran, stop in for a quick bite of delicious comfort food to snack on, with a good hot brew to wash it down. Whatever your reason for popping in, you'll undoubtedly leave Head Honcho with a smile on your face and a real sense of community spirit.