Mon – Fri: 6am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
“Alice in Wonderland is a story still relevant in today’s society. Originally crafted in the late 1800s, it has been told to numerous children across the globe. The story has taken on various adaption and platforms – from live performances to the motion pictures. Decade after decade, it is still considered to be an enormous influence in pop culture and art.
As a foodie, the tea party scene resonates well. Alice arrives at a long and lush table filled with tiers of desserts, beautiful tea set pieces and charismatic guests. Whilst the De Mad Hatter isn’t as crazy when compared to The Mad Hatter, their Docklands space underneath Collins Square, aims to offer something unique.
Residing on the Collins Street side, the space of De Mad Hatter is quite unusual and special. It is shaped like an unequal triangle, with one side of the café ceiling considerably smaller. This diversity in ceiling height creates two different spaces that is matched with appropriate décor. The larger space contains the kitchen and barista station; it’s relaxed, airy and comfortable with various seating options and mood lighting.
The smaller ceiling space adds more of a personal touch. The area is narrow and longer but also feels cozy and warm, with aesthetically pleasing light fixtures and flower arrangements. With the ability to book tables for a semi private area (perhaps discussing the next business proposal) this makes Docklands more than just about business.
First up, we tasted a small serving of the Home-made Bircher Muesli topped with yoghurt and fresh fruit. It contained the right balance of sweetness and creaminess to start the day. Complemented with fresh berries and fruit, it was certainly enjoyable but it lacked that ‘wow’ factor.
With a number of fellow bloggers electing for the delectable fritters or “DHM Signature”, I was semi pressured into the House Made Pancakes, topped with fruit compote and ice-cream [~$10.50]. Complemented with a specially designed Degani blend – a strong nutty flavoured long black that was full bodied – the pancakes were constructed and plated well. The berry compote wasn’t too sugary and the small amount of ice cream was substantial with the fluffy pancakes. Sure, it’s more on the kid side, but being a big kid gave me the inspiration to tackle the day.
De Mad Hatter caters to the white collar crowd well for those both on the run and for when time is on your side.”
“Late last year, I found myself working quite a bit up in the Docklands region of Melbourne. Collins Square had just been built and was the new food haven of the district. My co-workers often suggested we go for coffee or pickup lunch from De Mad Hatter, which is located on the outskirts of Collins Square and I was quite surprised that such an established venue had invited us for brunch along with the likes of Grazing Panda, The World Loves Melbourne and I’m So Hungree to name a few.
We started our meal off with a Home-made Bircher Muesli topped with yoghurt and fresh fruit. It was beautifully smooth and sweet. What I really liked about this was the really fresh berry compote that was not overpowering and seemed to balance the overall dish. The coffee wasn’t to my palate as it had bitter tones that reflected the Gigante brand and was probably truer to Italian style coffees.
For mains there was a selection to choose from, and I opted for Alice’s brunch – corn fritters, grilled bacon, tomato, avocado and house made tomato chutney [$13.50]. The fritters were deep fried, crunchy and doughy, whilst retaining the pop of juicy corn. They were much better than I was anticipating and were just the right size to get my day off to a good start.
I’ve been to De Mad Hatter before during the day, and while I thought they were a bit pricey for everyday eating, their food was of great quality for a weekly treat before work. I was really quite impressed with their corn fritters – they’re a good option if you’re in the Docklands area.”
Final thought: “Delicious breakfast options for those in the area”