Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4.30pm
Note: Brunch is served until 3pm
“The power of social media is currently one of the hottest global trends. Since its booming inception, the use of social media has changed the way we seek information, digest content and share even the smallest detail. Food – like other lifestyle activities – has a new norm of communication channels, and everybody is invited. With the help of Twitter and Instagram, every dish can be filtered, hash tagged and posted to followers and friends.
Instagram is a guilty pleasure of mine. An open and unfettered gateway into the world of food bloggers, chefs, cafes and restaurants alike. Finding unique dishes is always exciting and drooling – well most of the times. One account I thoroughly enjoy viewing is @townhousetoorak, otherwise known as Townhouse; a brunch destination in Toorak.
Townhouse is the second venture of Matt Ward & Mitchell Haworth (their first being Prospect Espresso). Also joining the team this round is Head Chef Will Manning (Prospect Espresso, The Botanical and Verge). The three had the vision to transform an old townhouse shop front into the coffee institution of Toorak.
Coffee at Townhouse is significantly diverse; offering a number of different single origins from micro and macro coffee roasting houses. It includes the like of Reverence, Proud Mary, Code Black, Small Batch and Little Chloe. Townhouse aims to invite the coffee drinkers of Toorak to experience the best of Melbourne Coffee, not to mention giving further insight other than the robust Italian blends.
My single origin long black was from Proud Mary and was exceptionally bold in flavour. The tan-like head with a dark swirly line made for one attractive brew. The long black had dominant notes of citrus and was extremely crispy. It was exceptionally smooth from start to finish and was an enjoyable long black.
Trying to maximize catch-up time with my fellow diners, I only had a quick chance to look at the menu. Even worse, when orders were taken, I made the amateur mistake of asking the waiter whether Rye, chia seeds and blueberry pancakes w/ vanilla mousse & maple syrup [$17] was a yummy selection. Quite rightly, I got a funny look from all members of the table and followed with a strong confirmation from the waiter.
What arrived was simply stunning and unexpected. The four pancakes were perfectly shaped and packed with rye, chai seeds and bleuberry. Accompanying the pancakes was carefully positioned spots of vanilla mousse that made for an interesting texture to the plate. Art commentary aside, the pancakes were extremely filling with the help of the chai seeds but also retained their lovely soft and sweet taste. The combination of the seeds and blueberry worked wonders as it extracted the natural sugar. The mousse had a foam-like taste which gently complemented the pancakes.
Townhouse has removed the presumption of what it means to be a cafe in Toorak. The clean space of Townhouse accentuates the use of the white and soft grey and allows for a calm cafe environment. Delivering strong coffee and brunch options makes it high on my list to revisit soon.”
“For over a year I’ve been thinking about buying a house. I’ve never been super committed to the idea as the property market is so hard to enter (even with a decent salary) and my lifestyle preferences (near the city), means that I will require a second person to go in with me. I’ve given up on the idea on a proper house with a garden; I would consider a generous apartment but I would most prefer a townhouse, which leads us to our foodie destination of the week.
We’d been hearing whispers about this brunch venue and thought that it was about time that we visited this new Toorak cafe. Located in Toorak Village I was expecting it to be a real pain to get parking, but for some reason there were a few vacant spots right outside the venue.
Inside was neat and clean. There was no real “wow” factor to the interior design, but it was welcoming and spacious. On this occasion we were brunching with Carly, and as we sat down she began to excitedly tell me about the things she wanted to try on the menu. The waitress came by shortly after we had settled in, poured us water and took our coffee orders as Mr LB walked through the door. I went for the single origin of the day in a double espresso.
Everything on the menu looked delicious, but between myself, Carly and Mr LB, I feel like we covered the best parts of it pretty well. I opted for the Sauteed mushrooms and kipflers w/ poached eggs, Parmesan croquettes, crispy prosciutto & artichoke crisps [$17.50] add avocado [$4] while Carly went for the Smoked salmon on dark rye w/ poached eggs, avocado & preserved lemon hollandaise [$17.50].
The food was relatively quick to be served and everything that came out looked delicious! I was really excited about my dish which looked hearty, but I must admit my immediate food envy when I saw Mr LB’s plate. Wow!
The meal itself was great and more filling than I originally anticipated. The mushrooms burst with flavour and were very juicy – it was really nice that it wasn’t buttery. The Parmesan croquettes were well-made but a little strange to my palate. I feel as though the ‘strangeness’ was a personal response to the flavour combination and not a reflection on the skills of the chef and the quality of the croquettes. The exterior shell was beautifully crunchy and well-made with just the right amount of salt.
The artichoke crisps were my favourite. While the artichoke flavours were a bit too subtle but the texture and crunchiness brought out the flavours of the other components of the dish; including the prosciutto which lifted the potatoes with its natural saltiness.
Carly’s dish was really good. The dark rye was super dense and while her dish looked deceptively small, she was stuffed by the end of it. The preserved lemon hollandaise was well-balanced with just the right amount of tang from the preserve coming through in the sauce.
The whipped avocado was by far my favourite element on her plate though – it was punchy and was a great accompaniment.
Overall Townhouse was a nice experience. I can honestly say that the meals were very enjoyable and the fact that there wasn’t any wait to get a table made for a relaxing and stress-free brunch session. While the dishes served look small in portion, they’re cleverly designed to be ultra filling.”
Final thought: “Cleverly designed dishes that will leave you satisfied”