The Dandenongs, the suburb of afternoon teas and Puffing Billy, has suddenly become a little bit hip with the opening of Shannon Bennett’s Burnham Beeches. Bennett has grand plans for his newest project with a planned luxury hotel, brewery and steak house. He’s started cautiously with the opening of a bakery to service his Vue de Monde empire and an accompanying cafe, The Piggery Cafe.
In pride of place are two very pampered pigs overlooking a croquet lawn, bowling green and truffiere. The bakery itself is built out of some of the old buildings on the site and includes a huge old chimney but the main feature is the wide heated and covered verandah which holds most of the seating. Seating is at communal tables with shared buckets of cutlery while meals come served on retro-chic enamel plates.
At a place called the Piggery cafe I had to order the “BBB” ($16) with its offering of slow cooked pork and bacon in the one dish. For a meat lover this has to be one of the best breakfast dishes out there, the fluffy brioche bun, sweet tomato relish and oozing egg enhanced the meat fest within.
The Croque Madam ($13.50) offered a hint of Bennett’s love of French cuisine with its classic combination of ham and cheese toastie topped with a sunny yolked fried egg. This should be on more breakfast menus in Melbourne as far as I’m concerned.
Coffee is Five Senses, a Melbourne favourite that it’s sometimes hard to find outside Zone 1, and it was served up as a smooth and creamy latté. The baked good sare also sensational and I couldn’t resist half a dozen spelt and cranberry hot cross buns to take away ($18). While I’ve read quite a few complaints about the service, we arrived early (10am) and found staff to be helpful and fairly attentive although we did occasionally have to flag them down. Shannon Bennet’s new opening is well worth the trip to the Dandenongs for. It’s a destination in it’s own right and I can’t wait to see what it all looks like when the master plan is finished.
Details: The Piggery Café and Burnham Bakery, 1 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke, Vic, (03) 9021 2100
Damage: Pricey. Our brunch bill for two came to $63.
Kids: Very kid friendly. There are high chairs and lots of space for little ones to play and run around. The playground is broken so could do with an upgrade.