I'm an Adelaide comms professional and I love to share my dining experiences. Although I'm a vego my husband isn't so my reviews often include his meaty meals.
Published October 21st 2014
A little cafe doing big things with food and coffee
Magill Road's newest cafe is, as its name suggests, little, but big on warm, urban and modish vibes. The yellow coffee machine against the wood panelled counter is sleek and sexy. (Coffee turns you on right?) The staff are genuinely friendly, creating an inviting atmosphere that makes you want to hang around and keep coming back. As they happily talk you through their offerings, their passion for high quality produce is palpable. They serve speciality coffee, fresh juices, Lebanese-style folded pizzas called manoushi, plus a range of other wholesome breakfast and lunch offerings with a Lebanese bent. Plus a cabinet with sweet treats and take away items is ever so tempting. Prices are extremely reasonable too, without any sacrifice made in serving size or quality.
The coffee is their own blend, which they spent the time adjusting until it was just as they envisaged, made in Melbourne by Dimattina. They complement their strong and toasty coffee by using one of the best locally produced, unhomogenised milks - Tweedvale. They also offer a range of non-dairy alternatives in soy, almond and coconut. Other hot beverages include a range of teas, chai and a tumeric latte (the yellow spice is combined with honey and milk and personally I can't wait to try this superfood drink). They have a refrigerator full of cold bevvies too, but also make their own juices and smoothies.
Unlike some of its closest competitors in the area, The Little Eastern is open on Sundays, yay! Unfortunately for its patrons, the cafe is shut on Mondays but understandably the owners need a day of rest, they are a young (and utterly lovely) couple with a small child to spend time with. Plus all the better to serve us with the vigour that they do the rest of the week.
Our juices were refreshing, the coffee was enjoyable and the food was delicious. In fact delicious is almost an understatement. My smashed pumpkin, roasted with feta and almonds on sourdough bread with a chunky salsa, was bursting with flavour and texture. I couldn't resist finishing it despite feeling full. The Lebanese breakfast was a winner with my dining partner too. Creamy scrambled eggs contained a tasty hit from pieces of Lebanese sausage, and the sides of tomato, cucumber, olives, labne and bread were perfect accompaniments. The olives and labne were particularly mouthwatering. This toothsome quality is probably owing to the fact that, like many components on each dish, they are house-made.
There's a huge range of vegetarian options (which I can't wait to work my way through) but really all bases are covered, from eggs to salmon to lamb. Their menu offers something for everyone; as the whole cafe does - from free wi-fi to being child-friendly. For those with kids, it's worth noting that the tables are covered with butchers paper with crayons supplied to keep your little ones occupied, and a wall by the door is adorned with the pictures left behind. This child-friendly touch in no way detracts from the cool urban fitout though, they've got the balance just right.
Seems they've got everything right - a great little space, a cool and inviting atmosphere and delicious food and drink. Tick, tick, tick.