The Howling Owl is a splendiferous new little cafe in the CBD. The best part? You won't feel like you're amongst the hectic hustle bustle once you swan through its doors. Sandwiched in between Urban Cow Studio and Rhino Room any hopes that these critters will play nice are unnecessary - of course they will.
There's a really friendly atmosphere to this new place. It doesn't feel like it's trying too hard and cute little features make it feel a bit kooky and different. I fancied a nice little siesta on the little lounge but decided against making myself that much at home. Besides, after a sip or two of the lovely coffee a siesta was no longer required. The coffee has a nice bit of grunt to it but no bitter after taste, and it came with a little crunchy delicious bicky on the side to win me over even further - I do love a little extra treat.
To eat we went with some of their delicious ready made sandwiches, but cheese plates/ tasting plates are also available and you can even design your own. This is good news as I'm a fusspot and always find at least one thing on ready made plates that I don't want. I went with the char-grilled eggplant, roasted roma tomatoes, red onion, tahini, baby rocket and Kangaroo Island Haloumi on German rye. This was a great mix of flavours and I thoroughly enjoyed it - the rye was slightly dry but this isn't something that is unique here, I often find rye dry so it could just be a me thing.
My dining companion went with the Barossa Smoked gypsy ham, camembert, cos lettuce, Beerenberg green tomato pickle and dijon mustard on country sourdough. The bite I had was well-worth my time - the camembert and that dijon mustard combining to give it a real pop of flavour.
The plates are 70s style ones that are a bit kitschy and cute, so I couldn't resist taking a photo. The service is friendly and quick. There was some background music playing but it wasn't intrusive and it was peaceful enough to be able to have a quiet conversation, but with enough else going on that it didn't feel like anyone could listen in.
We got a Berry Friand to share for dessert and it was mighty fine. We absolutely devoured it - the poor little thing had no chance of survival. The berry flavour was strong without being overpowering and there's a nice bit of tartness so it isn't overly sweet. The cakey bit is scrumptious with a nice crumbly texture and it isn't too moist or too dry it's just right.
There's some great wines and beers available too, so if you like a bit of vino with your lunch (or beer-ie goodness) then you'll be well provided for here. There's also some yummy condiments to take home available for sale.
For coffee and cake options, there are other sweeties available too, including cakes (carrot and orange and poppyseed were available today) and also pecan pie, macaroons and Steven Ter Horst Belgian Chocolates and Gluten Free muffins.
I'd highly recommend popping into this gorgeous little place before it becomes the next big thing. With everything being pretty darn good, from service and the feel of the place to the sweets and savouries, coffees and other beverages on offer it can only be a matter of time before it's a very popular little spot.