Last week whenever I went to the gym I passed by a colourful new cafe with a cute picket fence out the front. I tried to find a name each time I drove past but couldn’t manage anything other than the street number. After some intense googling with a friend I was pretty sure that the cafe was called Crabapple Kitchen. I was more sure that I wanted to check it out soon, so when a friend suggested Sunday brunch, it was on.
Crabapple opened a couple weeks ago now and is already very popular (if the line on Sunday is anything to go by). The fit out is really gorgeous. The interior is completely unrecognisable compared to the pizza place that had previously been in the building (there was something else there in between, I was never interested enough to find out what it was though). Inside there are plenty of tables (which you can book!), lots of industrial-ish lights, a bar along the wall in the front section of the cafe made out of what looks to be recycled wood (maybe from some sort of food crates?) and a long gallery wall of travel photos presumably taken by the owners.
Travel is a bit of a theme at Crabapple, opened by a company called FoodandTravelCo there are some exotic dishes inspired by the owner’s travels sprinkled through the menu. The menu itself is quite extensive, with a big selection of breakfast, small lunch and main meals. I’m not sure whether Crabapple is open for dinner, but from sitting at the bar next to its liquor licence I can tell you it’s licenced until 1am.
I really enjoyed brunch at Crabapple. There was a wait for a table and the food was a little slow but the service was incredibly friendly and I think the speed was understandable given how busy the cafe is so soon after opening.
Crabapple Kitchen’s arrival on Glenferrie Road is a colourful addition to an otherwise drab section of service shops. Nestled terribly between a Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, you can’t help but notice the multicolour canopy and the inviting open windows filled with baked goods; it has a very pie-on-the-windowsill kind of vibe.
Crabapple on a Sunday morning was hectically busy, which is always a good sign for a newly minted café. We were initially given a seat at the bar while we waited for table, and then the three of us were quickly seated at a rather cosy table. For how busy it was I found the service very personable. For example, our waitress apologised for not bringing us water sooner as the cups were too warm from the dishwasher. Proper napkins and stylish tableware give Crabapple a rather upmarket vibe, with not necessarily an upmarket price. Granted, we think we were accidentally overcharged by around $10, a mistake not noticed until we’d well left the area.
I really enjoyed our Brunch at Crabapple. I left feeling happy inside, and you can’t ask much more than that.
I had the avocado on olive toast with feta, lemon salt, chilli and mint ($14.50) with a side of chorizo ($4). I thought it was really good – if there’s anything I enjoy more than toast, it’s olive toast. The only thing that would have made me enjoy it more was some lemon to squeeze over it.
Gerard had the dished billed on the menu as FoodandTravelCo’s favourite travel breakfast experience – eggs baked in a north indian style curry with lentils, carroway seeds, carrot and yoghurt ($17.50). Being a bit of a carnivore, Gerard also had a side of a pork & fennel sausage ($4). He really enjoyed the eggs, the curry had a great flavour.
Our friend A tried the soft boiled eggs with soldiers ‘made with the flavours of croque monsieur’ ($12.50), with sides of both chorizo and pork & fennel sausage ($4 each). He wasn’t sure how the meal would go but was pleasantly surprised by the well cooked eggs and generous ‘flavours of croque monsieur’ on the toast (ham, cheese and bechamel – actually I didn’t ask if there was bechamel, but there was definitely a good serve of ham and cheese).
We followed up brunch with some dessert. Completely unnecessary but the pastry case at the front of the cafe looked so good that we couldn’t resist. A had a lamington, it looked pretty good.
Gerard and I each tried a portugese tart. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure that I $5 enjoyed it.
A new kid on the block but already pulling in crowds for a good reason, the food is good and the service is lovely. I’ll definitely be back.