A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published February 1st 2014
Ripe for the picking
Ripe Cafe is located in the heart of Sassafras, on the well worn tourist trail of the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road. It could easily be overlooked as it is located right next door to the well known Miss Marple's Tea Rooms. However it would be a shame to walk past Ripe, as it is a most appealing cafe in which reasonably priced food is served by obliging staff.
The decor is warm and welcoming, and has a comfortable, slightly rustic, feel. There are several rooms and a large deck, so patrons are able to space themselves out. Our table was located next to a window, letting lots of natural light into the room we were in.
Pleasant decor in Ripe
We were there at 9.30am on a Saturday for breakfast. Naturally, coffee is a high priority on such an occasion! We were quickly offered drinks. All except one person in our group opted for a coffee; the other person asked for hot chocolate, and was a little surprised to be offered milk, white or dark chocolate options! This is something I'd expect to see only in a chocolate specialty shop/cafe, so it was a nice touch.
Inside Ripe cafe
I ordered roasted mushrooms with goats cheese and caramelised onion, served on a bed of roquette leaves with a lemon oil dressing, and a slice of multigrain toast ($12.50). It was a simple yet tasty and well balanced dish. (There was a generous amount of goat's cheese, although the photo doesn't really show that.) I added a side order of bacon ($2.50). Others ordered the French toast with berries, and the baguettes (there is a separate baguette menu with a good range of options). All dishes were very reasonably priced and all diners seemed happy with their selection.
My dish of mushrooms with goat's cheese
Ripe offers a wide range of cakes and biscuits. These are attractively displayed and looked absolutely delicious. It was probably fortunate that we were there for breakfast, which is not a time when I feel inclined to indulge in sweet treats. I have a feeling I'll be back, however....