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Published October 22nd 2018
Walk in the door & feel like you're on holidays
In House Kitchen is a popular cafe located at Nelson Bay, in the scenic Port Stephens. The cafe stands out on the street due to its fresh and inviting coastal Hampton's décor and furniture, both inside and outside the cafe. The decor reflects the rest of their business called The Home Interior, which sells furniture and home wares and also offers a home styling service to make your home look as attractive as the cafe.
Walk in the door and enjoy the coastal ambience and smell of freshly-made coffee, which draws locals to the cafe each and every day. It is a space that makes you instantly feel relaxed and at home - with "on-trend" furniture and homewares that makes you wish it was your own home. Get some styling ideas, order a meal and then chill out - this venue makes everyone feel like they're on holidays - even the locals!
The stylish and welcoming In House Kitchen café...
My family recently moved to Port Stephens and we have been enjoying the scenery, walks, beaches, markets, views and the friendly people of the region. Each time we have walked past In House Kitchen it has been busy, with all the tables full of happy diners inside and out. We had previously commented that it looked like a good venue for all ages, as kids sat out the front enjoying milkshakes and toddlers perched in highchairs, happily pulling apart croissants.
One Saturday morning, we arrived in town early for a leisurely breakfast and we were relieved to see that the cafe wasn't busy, so we walked inside and we were shown to a table for four. Water and menus were quickly delivered to our table and we then had the pleasure of pouring over the flavoursome options.
Current Menu (October 2018). Image: In House Kitchen website
Coconut Three Ways - coconut chia and granola pot, seasonal fruit salad, coconut yoghurt & agave nectar, mango and coconut shooter ($21). Image: In House Kitchen Instagram
The menu was on the pricier end compared to other local cafes, with only a small selection of meals under $20, however each meal that went past our table looked generous in size and creatively plated. Our young daughter was more than happy to order thick-cut Fruit Toast and a Kids Milkshake which came with a marshmallow, and the rest of us on the table ordered the "Za'atar Crusted Avocado with toasted sourdough, macadamia pesto and lime" and the "Crispy Bacon with Smashed Egg Roll with snow pea tendrils, tomato relish and a milk bun". When each of them were delivered to our tables a short time later, our stomachs rumbled in unison - they were excited about what was coming their way!
Fruit Toast ($8), Crispy Bacon with Smashed Egg Roll ($12), Za'atar Crusted Avocado ($15) and a small cappuccino ($4)
The Za'atar Crusted Avocado dish in particular was unique and creative. Half an avocado was covered in Za'atar, which I had never heard of before, however I have since learnt that it's a Middle Eastern herb spice and seed mix. In Arabic, Zaatar means "thyme", so it is traditionally a blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. I must admit that I didn't taste a strong herb flavour, but the crunch and texture of the seeds were the perfect contrast to the soft avocado. The macadamia pesto on the side provided a hit of fresh flavour that you could either spread on the toast, or add small amounts to each bite. Although the sourdough toast was beautifully toasted it was hard to cut into, but it was made easier by the sharp knives provided in the middle of the table.
The joy of this dish was making it "your way" - deciding whether to slice up the avocado and spread it, or leave it sliced, and then deciding how much or how little of the pesto to use. Two of us on the table ordered this dish and there wasn't one seed left on the plate at the end.
Our family enjoyed our breakfast experience at In House Kitchen cafe. It is easy to see why locals flock to it every day for takeaway coffees (using Allpress Espresso beans) and to also stay for breakfast, lunch or cake with loved ones. By the time we left, many people were coming in to enjoy the range of cakes, croissants and pastries, which are made in their kitchen every day. As this café is large, it is also a handy venue on a rainy day or a hot day, to escape the weather and get a cosy table to sit inside.
Why don't you experience it for yourself, this weekend?
Once you see the pastries, you won't want to leave...