After reading a stack of good press, I finally gathered the troops and ventured out of my neighbourhood to bustling Hawthorn to try one of the newest kids on the block, Crabapple Kitchen.
This delightful cafe is the newest venture for Greg Feck (of Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder fame) and is an oasis along the busy thoroughfare of Glenferrie Road. The vibrant striped awning and white picket fence catch the eye and beckon hungry stomachs inside. The feeling is one of warmth and the service is personable and friendly; like eating in a small country kitchen. The decor is a mix of country-style shabby chic, with travel photos adorning the exposed brick walls and wooden tables with whitewashed timber chairs. Crabapple Kitchen is long and narrow, with tables stretching the length of the restaurant and the kitchen tucked neatly at the back. Glass cabinets at the front of the cafe are filled with an assortment of freshly baked goods to tempt any sweet tooth.
The philosophy of Crabapple Kitchen is to unite Greg's two great loves...food and travel! A philosophy akin to my own. The focus is on the freshest seasonal produce available with a number of signature dishes inspired by travels around the world. An opportunity to sample exotic flavours, no passport required.
Breakfast is served all day- fantastic for late risers with an inspired lunch menu served from 11:30am. Perusing the menu we all choose something different. There is the avocado on olive toast with Meredith Dairy feta, lemon, chilli, mint and avocado oil with an added poached egg.
Poached eggs, swiss brown button mushrooms and toast. Menu alterations are no problem for the kitchen and another plate of poached eggs, toast and mushrooms arrives with avocado and a side of Vegemite. The ‘Jum & Bender Sarnie’ comprising of a fried egg, bacon, H.P sauce, aioli & rocket in a soft brioche & sesame bun is quickly polished off. While I settle for a breakfast inspired by travels to Jalandhar City in India. My eggs arrive baked in an aromatic Northern Indian style curry with lentils & caraway seeds, heirloom carrots, spiced yoghurt and grilled wholemeal flat bread. The curry is flavoursome, rich with tomatoes and spices. The heirloom carrot is slightly al dente and the flat bread is the perfect vehicle to mop up the rich juices. Very impressive and a welcome change from the usual breakfast staples.
My first visit to Crabapple Kitchen certainly won't be my last...I am itching to try the lunch menu and also have earmarked their Friday Night Flights, where you can sample a selection of dishes inspired by a new country each week. On the menu over the next few months is food from Provence, the Ligurian Coast, Northern India and the Greek Islands.
Best news of all they take bookings! Hurrah!
Crabapple Kitchen 659 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn VIC 3122
Ph: 03 9078 5492