Mon – Thur: 7am – 5pm
Fri: 7am – 10pm
Sat – Sun: 7am – 5pm
659 Glenferrie Rd
Hawthorn VIC 312
Bookings are advised during peak periods and can be done weekdays and weekends
Also check out our review of Crabapple Kitchen’s Friday Night Flight at The Modern Con.
“Does appearance and immaculate design matter in the hospitality world? From cafes to restaurants and all things in-between, there is a strong correlation between great design and superb dining locations. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, however architects and designers hold more influence than ever before. Then there are cafes like Crabapple Kitchen, which on first impression doesn’t have that ‘slick design’ attraction. The small shop front with a takeaway window and minimum signage could go unnoticed to pass-byers, but yet it has a phenomenal following.
Crabapple Kitchen has been operating since 2012 and has proven to be a cafe oasis in Hawthorn. All egos are left at the door as the large team works to cater for differing diners needs. The dining space is deceptively large and comprises of a front and back area. The front room includes a busy bar, barista and kitchen. There are soothing elements to the décor with a combination of soft greys and strong wooden fixtures – homely yet non-confronting. Further into the dining space are rich vibrant red brick walls with hanging art and plenty of down lighting. The back space embraces the natural light with lots of whites and has a ‘patio’ like feel.
Crabapple Kitchen uses a Campos house blend, and while Miss SL was a little bearish on the idea of a coffee, I happily took the punt. In the past we have had some below average coffees from this blend (largely due to barista skills); but to my surprise, my long black [3.50] had a well-round and defined fruity highlights. It was exceptionally palatable and was of considerable quality.
I’ve been a big fan of Crabapple Kitchen since a good friend of mine persisted I try their Friday Night Flight dinner. To continue on this love affair of location-driven dishes, I elected the Breakfast Experiences from the Chef’s Travels – Istanbul, Turkey – Chargrilled flatbread with spiced ground lamb, dukkah poached egg, garlic yoghurt, salad of freekeh, red onion, tomato & harissa [$19.50]. The plating was how it would be expected with the various garnishes layed out on top of the chargrilled flatbread. The flatbread was exceptionally soft, doughy and grilled to perfection. The freekeh salad was a stand-out, delivering a true authentic element to the dish; the pulse grain had subtle crunch and was delicious when combined with the lamb, smash tomato and yoghurt.
With a little bit of space and craving something sweet, the Coconut Carmel slice [$4.50] hit the spot. It was well-balanced with strong hints of coconut. It was the ideal conclusion to my brunch.
With cooking fundamentals of ‘straight forward, old-school hospitality at heart’, it’s easy to see why Crabapple Kitchen is such a loved cafe in Hawthorne. There is a lot of passion and pride that goes into this cafe, and if you haven’t been yet then you are missing out on this fantastic brunch gem”.
“Hawthorne is a suburb brimming with possibility. Like the North, great cafes and coffee houses are bountiful and great restaurant finds are a stone throw away. Mr LB and I were tossing up between a brunch at Hawthorne Common or Crabapple Kitchen and after some discussion, landed on providing our readers with a review on the dark horse option – Crabapple Kitchen.
Located on Glenferrie Rd, Crabapple Kitchen had a beautiful warm feeling. The interior design was a beautiful mix of casual/trendy restaurant and cafe. The space is large yet intimate and stretched out to two rooms and a back patio. What was interesting was how slick the operations were. Floor staff had ear pieces to coordinate seating and food, resulting in a flawless customer service experience.
Perched on the counter at the front of the venue, Mr LB and I ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ about our big brunching decision for the day. Our coffees were well on the way since being seated, and my double espresso from Campos coffee was surprisingly fruity and bright. It was a cheerful way to start my morning.
I was very hungry on this occasion and itching for a burger, landing on the Lunch Experiences from the Chef’s Travels – Brooklyn, New York, USA – Open style double beef burger with Monterey Jack cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickles, crispy pancetta and gem lettuce all in a soft brioche & sesame seed bun served with shoestring fries [$24.50]. I have to say this was probably the best burger I’ve had in a long time; not only was the beef succulent and mouth melting, but it had this real home-made feel to it. It was beautifully spiced and seasoned. Combined with a delicious relish and a soft fluffy brioche bun was heavenly.
I was pretty stuffed after my main but was greedy for a bit of brunch dessert, opting for a coconut teacake [~$5]. This tiny little cake didn’t look super appealing but was so moist – it was almost like a friand. There was so much coconut in it – I loved it!
My next mission for a date night is to come to dinner here. The service was great, as was the food. Crabapple Kitchen is an excellent place to discover amongst Hawthorne’s great food scene.”
Final thought: “Amazing burgers that compete with the best”