Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Green at St Columbs, Hawthorn (by invitation) by Obelix

How often can you enjoy great cafe food, decent coffee and be altruistic at the same time?  You can if you go to The Green at St Columbs.  The Green is a social enterprise extension of the Jesuit Social Services, hands-on hospitality training program, Ignite, aimed at providing mentoring and training to long term unemployed and disadvantaged job seekers in the hospitality industry. The Ignite participants get to work along industry professionals led by Head Chef Kevin Dick. The cafe is built on the principles of self-sustainability and all proceeds go back into the Ignite Program.  It's an amazing worthwhile cause.

The Green is situated in the former chapel of St Columb's church.  It has a casual, rustic and very welcoming feel.  The staff are warm and friendly.  An ideal location for a quick coffee to brunch / lunch with work mates or with girlfriends or en famille.  The menu focuses on locally sourced and seasonal produce.  Some of the produce are actually grown on site.

MC and I kicked things off with a couple of drinks.

Speaking of all things locally sourced, I had Anushka Chai Latte laced with honey which could be best described as a 'hug in a cup'.

MC was very impressed with the decadent ice cream topped iced chocolate.  MC would like it be to be noted on record that the iced chocolate was one of the better ones she's had tasted.  And she has tasted a fair few in her lifetime.

Our main dishes.

Being the meat-fiend that I am, I ordered the Moroccan Lamb shoulder which was tenderly slow cooked and came atop a bed of quinoa, chickpeas and hummus and strewn through with greens.  It was wholesome food.  It tasted damn good and was good for me.

MC tackled the Spanish Eggs.  I had a little nibble of her's - it was all smoky paprika, flavoursome chorizo and salty feta.  A perfect brunch dish with flavours that packed a punch.

Realistically we didn't have much tummy real estate left after the substantially sized mains, however one could not leave The Green without sampling their baked-fresh-on-premises sweets.  And sample we did with this envy inducing sample platter.

We have here a cupcake with a fig puree on the left.  This one was my favourite, it was light yet buttery and had a distinct lemony zest running through.  A wickedly chocolately cookie on the right which MC claimed.  The blueberry muffin was in the middle which tasted more like a friand (loved).  The cardamon cookies were like souped up amarettos.

Perfect accompaniments to a pot of green tea.  Although next time I am keen to try The Green's Code Black coffee.

Verdict:  We loved it.

Come down and support The Green.  It's a wonderful social enterprise initiative, providing skills and work experience for long term unemployed and disadvantaged job seekers.  It supports local producers.  But most of all, come down for the great food and drinks and the welcoming ambiance.  You'll be glad that you did.

The Green at St Columbs on Urbanspoon

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