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Published August 14th 2017
Delicious dishes that both salute and transcend convention
The Whistle and Flute Cafe and Liquor Bar is dog friendly, but it's difficult to tell if the disconsolate looking Dalmatian over in the corner by the sliding door, head resting calmly on its forepaws, appreciates the sentiment. The Maltese alongside, however, is a fluffy ball of energy enthusiastically slurping from a bowl of water.
Sliding Door Entrance to the Whistle and Flute Cafe on Greenhill Road
Bright wood tones and greenery dominate the space; suspended plants drape - veil like - from planter boxes while natural light streams in from the high ceiling. Exposed pipes among the wood and brickwork create an atmosphere reminiscent of a conservatory or greenhouse, thankfully without the cloying humidity. Below, the cafe is always busy and buzzing, animated conversations echo with a rhythmic, lilting, continuous murmur.
Greenery from planter boxes above the seating area
The grail of fresh ingredients, locally purveyed and sustainably sourced appear to be the buzz words of the restaurant industry, and Whistle and Flute delivers this trinity in spades. Servings are generous with a cornucopia of colour and texture. The slight bitterness of kale is balanced perfectly with roasted tones and the kick of chilli. Crusty, earthy charcoal bread has been paired with creamy and rich halloumi cheese. Nutty brown rice, tangy beetroot yoghurt and a perfectly poached egg round off the "Nutrition Breaky Bowl." It's a bounteous profusion, a rounded equilibrium.
It's much the same with the other offerings on the table, with vibrant combinations incorporating fresh produce and nutritious superfoods. Pleasing charred, smoky notes harmonise with tangy and light yoghurts and pickles, toothsome grains with crisp crusts and crunchy vegetables. The overall theme is hard to characterise beyond this, being a mixture of traditions, cuisines and influences which are uniformly delicious and deliciously ununiformed, changing to reflect the varying availability of fresh produce and culinary creativity.
Whistle and Flute is open from 7am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 7am to 10pm on Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday. Prices vary (see the menu) but are generally around $15 - $20 a plate. If you're on Greenhill Road, perhaps taking a walk in the parklands with dogs or on a lunch break in the area, Whistle and Flute serve a variety of delectable dishes with a fresh and engaging approach to produce and cuisine.