Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cafe Sweethearts, South Melbourne by Bureaucrat

A few weeks ago, while having brunch at Dead Man Espresso, the Lawyer and I spotted the fiercest yet cutest dinosaur on display in one of them funky homeware stores in South Melbourne.  As it made such an impression on us, we ventured back to South Melbourne to buy it.  And, as we were in the area, we took the opportunity to try out another cafe.

Arriving past 2:30pm, we were lucky to get table at Cafe Sweethearts before the kitchen was closed.  Unlike the more chic and/or hipstery cafes nearby, CS has more of a neighbourhood feel to it.  

It's a warm cafe, with locals reading their paper and having a meal.  There was a nice hum of activity and chatter in the cafe, and a relaxed vibe to the place.

The Lawyer got the grilled asparagus, chorizo and haloumi served w poached egg on sourdough. While the dish was a tad smaller in serve than we were expecting it made up in flavour.  The Lawyer particularly liked the gooey haloumi cheese, the gutsy flavour from the chorizo and the squeaky fresh asparagus.  He also liked the toasted sourdough.  The ingredients were simple but done very well and resulted in one happy Lawyer.

I went for the salmon stack - a stack of salmon and wilted spinach pancakes served w poached egg and raita.  While this was a more generous serving size, I wasn't as impressed with the flavours here.  Three very hearty pancakes, jam packed with smoked salmon and fresh spinach - points for generosity of the salmon and spinach.  

However, I just felt the pancakes needed a bit more oomph to it.  Perhaps it could have come from one of the sauces - I didn't think the muted flavour of the raita was a good choice for this pancake.  It needed something stronger - a richer hollandaise sauce or even a some sweet corn nibblets to give a burst of contrasting flavour to the earthy smokiness from the salmon and spinach.  Or even a good crack of black pepper in the pancake batter would have lifted the dish a bit more.

Food – 7
Service – 7
Ambiance – 7
Price – 7

CS is a nice cafe.  Based on the two dishes we had, the food is reasonable - it's simple and not fancy.  But sometimes that's what you want.  The Lawyer really liked his dish and would go back again.  According to him, if we lived in the neighbourhood, this would be his local cafe where he'd go to on a lazy Sunday morning for his brekky and to read his newspaper.  I would go back again, but would probably order something different - the table across from us were tucking into these really nice chicken breast burgers w chips.   

Service was friendly but a wee slow.  However, I'd chalk that up to the fact that it was towards the end of the lunch service for them. 

Cafe Sweethearts
263 Coventry St
South Melbourne
Telephone: 9690 6752

Café Sweethearts on Urbanspoon

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