If you haven’t heard of Geoffrey Bawa before, he’s the rock star of Sri Lankan architects. MTV and I spent our honeymoon in Sri Lanka and splashed out staying at a few Bawa designed hotels so I was keen to check out Bawa cafe in Hawthorn which is named after the man himself.
The cafe has a modern, clean fit out with a division into two levels through a raised timber platform along the window. The Bawa influence here appears to be limited mainly to the use of lots of greenery – a trend that’s pretty strong in the Melbourne cafe scene at the moment anyway.
Perhaps the Bawa (and Sri Lankan) inspiration can be better seen in the food which is creative, vibrant and fresh. The two stand out dishes for me on the breakfast menu are the poached grains, seeds and nuts ($14.50) and the omelette with pumpkin and swiss chard ($17.50).
Both these dishes sound pretty standard but are taken up a notch with insta-perfect presentation. The poached grains, seeds and nuts are topped with a sunny yellow poached pear and scattering of berries creating a vibrant and sweet dish while the omelette is dotted with cubes of pumpkin and tiny circles of manchego cheese.
Another menu winner is the potato roesti which comes topped with a slab of slow braised pork, an oozing poached egg and a slather of almost flourescent green herbed hollondaise sauce ($19). It’s like eggs benedict on steroids.
Coffee is by Dukes and our latte and cappuccino (a retro order by MTV which he hopes is making a comeback) were smooth with a slightly toasty flavour.
With a menu this good (alongside an abundance of potted plants) you don’t need to be an architect fan girl like me to be a fan of Bawa cafe.
Details: Bawa Cafe, 248 Burwood road, Hawthorn 3122 (Ph 9819 6701)