The boys behind Hawk and Hunter have a knack for setting up a cafe in exactly the place where locals are crying out for good coffee and decent food. After all that’s what they did in a neglected area of Brighton with the brilliant Little Ox.
|There’s a huge communal table at the back of Hawk and Hunter|
They’ve done it again with Hawk and Hunter, the place has been rammed since opening and visiting for brunch on the weekend MTV and I had to wait for a table. The cafe is conveniently located right next to Ripponlea train station and is already doing a roaring takeaway coffee trade thanks to the consistently smooth and strong blend on offer from Redstar coffee made using a baby blue La Marzocco machine.
|Chicken sandwich at Hawk and Hunter|
The cafe was designed by Perrett Ewert Leaf and it looks great I loved the huge communal table made from a jigsaw like assortment of pieces of wood which is reflected in the covering on one wall. It’s stylish but unpretentious with the feel of a place that has been around for a few years and is well established rather than a brand new cafe.
|Smooth and creamy latte from Hawk and Hunter|
The menu includes an all day breakfast alongside sandwiches, salads and some more substantial mains. There are more interesting ingredients than you find at most local cafes like pickled red onion with the smoked salmon and porcini dust on the risotto. A prime example is Hawk and Hunter’s take on the humble chicken sandwich ($17). The cafe gives this classic offering a bit of a twist by spicing the chicken with cumin and serving it with some tangy housemade piccalilli alongside shoestring fries and garlicky aioli.
|Haloumi salad at Hawk and Hunter|
The grilled haloumi salad ($16.60) had a bit of a Middle Eastern feel to it thanks to the sweet pops of pomegranate and pieces of orange. The cheese erred on the side of being rubbery but I think this was just because it wasn’t piping hot when it was served. There’s food to take home like slow roasted lamb shoulder in a vaccum sealed bag or Hawk and Hunter’s own tomato relish and the cafe has applied for a liquor licence with drinks coming soon.
|There are great baked goods on offer with lots of muffins, meringues and cakes|
The coffee is already spot on and the food at Hawk and Hunter is only going to get more polished. This brand new cafe is already well on its way to becoming a Ripponlea stalwart.
Details: Hawk and Hunter Small Batch, Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea (Ph 03 9528 0798) Open 6.30 – 5pm.
Damage: Reasonable. Our bill came to $50.