The spectacular view of the Silvan Reservoir from the Kalorama Lookout.
With a winter cold setting in and a serious chill in the air, the last thing I wanted to do was get in the car and drive to Mount Dandenong, about 30kms east of Melbourne, on my Saturday morning. The promise of cheap vinyl records was too much for my boyfriend though and so we began the hour trek from Melbourne.
As we headed up Tourist road, towards the small town of Olinda, we were both captivated by the view from the Kalorama lookout. In the afternoon sun, the Silvan Reservoir looked absolutely beautiful, nestled amongst the lush green surrounds.
Kalorama Kitchen Cafe is situated opposite the lookout and boost the same magical views. We couldn't help but stop for a coffee.
Entering the cafe we found that it was warm, relaxed, friendly, and most importantly, it had the same spectacular view. We sat in front of the cafes large glass windows to enjoy the beautiful scenery, while also being warmed by the afternoon sun.
A 60s style property has been refurbished to create the cafe, which gives it a warm and inviting look, while also remaining sophisticated inside. The L dining area snakes around the kitchen and serves area, ensuring that both seating areas utilise the brilliant views. The front of the cafe overlooks the same magnificent countryside that lured us in to begin with and the other side showcases the spectacular winding road which leads up the mountain.
If the weather had been better, it would have been even more stunning to sit on the cafes front lawn and enjoy the surroundings from the comfort of their outdoor dining facilities.
The coffee was good, and while it was a little pricey at $4 a cup, the atmosphere definitely made up for it. As an avid long black drinker, I was pleasantly surprised when they did not add extra hot water to my coffee, making it appear larger, but also watering it down, like many place do. My boyfriends Long Macchiato was served in the correct size cup, with his only complaint being that it was a little milky.
A range of teas, including herbal, as well as freshly made milk shakes and ice coffees, soft drinks and bottled water is also available.
Unfortunately, we had already eaten lunch but I was impressed to notice that they were still serving hot food at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It smelled and looked delicious.
The cafe serves delicious looking homemade pies and sausage rolls, soup and sandwiches, as well as a range of cakes, slices and biscuits. It was reasonably priced, at around $15 for a light meal, steaming hot and served with a smile.
The menu features plenty of allergen free foods, including gluten, dairy and eggs, as well as having several vegetarian options.
I was also impressed to notice their breakfast menu. It featured a range of options from Vegemite on toast or granola, for travelling families, to more indulgent items such as Turkish scrambled eggs and BLT's for those with a bigger appetite. It was also reasonably priced at under $15 per dish and sounded delectable
We loved this quaint little cafe, in this beautiful part of the world, so much that we are considering heading back there for a weekend. This hidden gem was quiet and homely. The staff were young, friendly and efficient. The coffee and food were as good as in any inner city cafe. And my god, the view was spectacular.