Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published June 2nd 2016
Their Home Is About To Become Your Second Home
A piece of food art
Second Home Café is a beautiful, new and classy café, gallery and bakery housed in an iconic Alistair Knox built Eltham warehouse. There's relaxing music in the background but it's not intrusive. There are books available to browse and Second Home conserves, artisan breads and flowers on display to purchase. Comfy couches are arranged around coffee tables if you don't want to eat formally at tables. There's also an outdoor eating area which was about to open when I was there last. I'm imagining this will be lovely based on the atmosphere created inside.
Flowers for sale
The whole café is decorated in stunning black and white. It's a soft industrial style with large white linen light shades. I had been to this location when there was a gallery out front and a small café out the back. What a makeover! This was a very pleasant surprise. Even the waiters and waitresses were dressed differently. They wore white shirts and light grey aprons with leather straps.
How good does this look?
The barista was moving around chatting to customers. I liked the fact we could ask him questions. He said this week they were serving Rosso and Single Origin (Ethiopia) coffee.
For a new café I was also surprised by how busy this was on a Tuesday, especially when the location is in the industrial part of Eltham and not visible from any main streets. When it comes to cafes in Eltham, word of mouth is loud and clear. Despite being packed, the food delivery was fast. I noticed there were lots of yummy mummies who have just lobbed up from the gym. I wonder if their food and coffee was low calorie? It looks like the management has purposefully taken the into account the audience.
The menu and food were organised in a unique way, hinting that this café was not the run of the mill.
The drink sections included: Our liberations trolley, Fizz and champagne, Super duper smoothies, pro-coffee and anti-coffee. The food is organized under: Healthy body, Healthy mind, To the side, Pastries and toasty things, Beautiful brunch and Lovely luncheon.
Mandarin and polenta tea cake - not the usual cafe cake
My girlfriend was the reviewer of the coffee. She really enjoyed it. Here's her direct comment: 'The coffee is not plain, it's nice and mellow. It's not just creamy milk but you can taste the coffee.'
You can tell the owners have experience in the field. When I found out that one of them has a restaurant in Hawthorn I thought that explains it all. This looks like somewhere inner city rather than a café in the leafy burbs. The staff is trained well to offer friendly, responsive service.
Spaghetti piled on toast with an egg and cheese
So… to the delicious, well presented food. I had cheese on toast but on the menu it was described as three cheeses on five-grain bread, béchamel and spiced pepper relish. This was much more impressive than I had anticipated and it was only $12.90. My friend had spaghetti on toast (Homemade with fresh herbs if you don't mind). It looked fabulous. They have a more extensive lunch menu including Caesar salad for $18.90 pea and tarragon soup with garlic sourdough ($16.90).
Not your ordinary cheese on toast
I managed to get a couple of other shots of the generous brunches. They all looked terrific. The people at the table next to us had been there before and vouched for the food. When I said I was envious of their salmon dish they said you wouldn't find a bad pick.
Fresh salmon and just picked herbs... yum
My final comments, returning to the ambience and styling are not meant to overshadow the quality of the food. But… this place looks a bit like somewhere you could hold a fashion parade. It is on trend with high-end food at a reasonable price. On your way out grab a bunch of flowers, a crusty loaf of homemade bread and some conserve. If you forget then get it next time. You're sure to be back. After just a month Second Home Café already have regulars. The sign above the cash register reads: Our home is about to become your Second Home. They had just read my mind!
Note:There is on-site parking but if it's full you can park at the Eltham Leisure Centre on Brougham St. It's a short walk up the road.